IT’S full steam ahead to sign up more businesses for the Summer Centre complex according to Retail Shopping Centre Services (RSCS) managing leasing agents who say they are expecting five more shops to open in the centre by March.
“We are confident we will have [full] occupancy of the centre by May,” said RSCS spokesman Bill Kanellopoulos.
With a hairdresser and beautician, discount retail store, gift shop, butcher, sushi bar and Chinese restaurant signed to occupy shops along with the IGA supermarket and Dan Murphy’s, Mr Kanellopoulos said 65 per cent of floor space was taken.
“We are close to signing up a cafe - a name which is well known throughout this region,” he said.
He said negotiations were in the final stages for a newsagent and another franchise-based food business to occupy the centre.
“We have also put forward a proposal to a Thai restaurant.”
He said the community had shown its support for the centre with strong patronage of the first two tenants in the building - Ashcrofts Supa IGA and Dan Murphy’s and he had feedback from the businesses that they were trading at forecast levels.
“We have the critical mass to make this [centre] a great success,” he said.
Yesterday Mr Kanellopoulos met with Orange City Council to discuss plans for some changes to improve parking.
“We deliberately planned the car park so there were no poles for people to run into but we just need to tweak the spaces for elderly people and parents with prams to make their shopping experience the best it can be,” he said.
Mr Kanellopoulos said RSCS was working in conjunction with Benchmark to attract shops to the centre after being brought on board by the owners Prime Space, in August 2013.
After a winding down after the Christmas and New Year break Mr Kanellopoulos said the fitting out of the gift shop at the centre should be completed within the next couple of days.