GLENROI’s dilapidated and disused Kurim Shopping Centre has been nominated as one of the country’s worst shopping centres as Orange City Council admits there’s nothing they can do to upgrade the privately-owned building.
A survey, conducted by News.com.au readers, listed Kurim among the worst shopping centres in Australia, and deemed it a hazard.
Orange councillor Ron Gander said because the building is privately owned there’s little council can do to redevelop of the site.
Cr Gander said he’s not surprised to hear Kurim has been named and shamed.
He said while efforts had been made to upgrade the area by planting trees, creating cycle parks and building skate parks, a redevelopment of the Kurim Shopping Centre site was vital.
“Even if it was demolished and turned into green space it would be better than what it is now,” he said.
“It’s a disgrace.”
Cr Gander said he remembers a time when Kurim was a “very handy” shopping centre with a fish and chips shop and a hardware store.
Glenroi Community Group secretary Wendy Davidson said the abandoned shopping centre sent a negative message to the community.
“It’s an eyesore and it’s like nobody cares about the Glenroi community,” she said.
“It doesn’t send a very good message to children in the area.”
Mrs Davidson said her group would like to see the building turned into a safe house.
“We’d like it to be a place for people in dire straights to go, perhaps if there’s violence in their home,” she said.
“We’d also like people to go there and be put in contact with organisations like community services.”
Council spokesperson Nick Redmond said council shared the frustration of the community about the appearance of the former shopping centre.
“The owner has been co-operative in responding promptly dealing when council staff have raised issues of vandals damaging the building,” he said.
“The ultimate future of building is in the hands of the owner.”
Kurim’s owner Eid Eid said he eventually planned to turn the premises into a medical centre and childcare facility.
“I want somewhere the community can get involved in and use,” he said.
He said he had talked to council about his redevelopment plans.