FIRST LOOK: New shopping centre prepares for ‘soft opening’
A SHOPPING centre in a new estate at Lennox Head is set for a "soft opening" in late June or early July.
Woolworths and BWS have confirmed they will open at that date, and the chemist, medical centre and newsagent are hoping to be open on the same day, or a few days later.
Once it's complete, the Epiq Marketplace Shopping Centre will include a Chempro Chemist, a medical centre, a newsagency, a gym, Woolworths and BWS.
There will be a coffee and food offering for customers from the opening date.
Clarence Property managing director Peter Fahey said the COVID-19 pandemic hasn't prevented them from finding tenants for most of the stores.
"Most of the shops are spoken for, we're just not going to have them ready in time," Mr Fahey said.
"We've been held up in construction due to rain and now COVID-19.
"Our builders are completing the internal fit-out for Woolworths and finishing the tenancies for our specialty retailers.
"We are finalising agreements with a few more retailers including health food stores, a cafe and food and beverage operators."
A limited number of tenancies remain available ranging from 65 to 100 sqm.
Mr Fahey brushed aside concerns that the complex would draw business away from shops in Lennox Head village.
"We discussed it with a lot of people I know down there, we didn't have that push back," he said.
"It will have minimal effect downtown, the town has grown so much.
"Maybe the supermarkets in Ballina will feel the impact as opposed to Lennox Village."
He said the Hutley Road extension should be complete soon, and mitigate any traffic flow concerns raised in the consultation phase.
Once all stores are trading, there will be 300 people employed at the complex.
"We are looking forward to seeing hundreds of new jobs created for locals as these shops open their doors, which is much needed in the current environment," Mr Fahey said.
"In my time at Lennox Head there was nowhere for the kids to work, this will be a big plus.
"Research suggests when money is invested locally there is a multiplier effect that benefits the whole community."