CBD's battle for the big bucks

GOONELLABAH has caught the interest of a number of big commercial developers, challenging the Lismore CBD as the region’s commercial capital.

Expressions of interest are due to close on Friday, and North Coast Commercial director Chris Harley confirmed that at least one ‘large commercial company’ was attracted to the council-owned land between Goonellabah Shopping Village and the new Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre.

According to Mr Harley the 1.88ha parcel of land at lot 74 Simeoni Drive had garnered ‘very good interest’ from a number of parties.

Yet as big developers move in on Goonellabah, the occupancy rates in the Lismore CBD, comprising a large proportion of the region’s small independent retailers, has plummeted almost 30 per cent in the past three years.

However, Lismore Alive City Centre manager Stephen Nelson assured Lismore CBD occupants that the Goonellabah development would only fuel spending in the CBD.

“Any commercial development in Goonellabah is a good thing. It will just reinforce our status as the commercial hub. It will be great for construction, for jobs,” Mr Nelson said.

He added it was ‘shortsighted’ to think the Goonellabah boom was anything but beneficial for the entire Lismore region.

Long-time CBD retailer John Daley, owner of Daleys Homewares in the Lismore CBD, agreed with Mr Nelson.

“Anything that brings business into Lismore has to be good,” he said.

A Lend Lease spokesperson confirmed it was not one of the interested developers.

Last month Lismore City Council unveiled a campaign to brand Lismore with a new image.

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