Developer and Kool Kids Early Learning Centres Creator Bruce Coulson in front of The Hive which is presently under construction.
Developer and Kool Kids Early Learning Centres Creator Bruce Coulson in front of The Hive which is presently under construction. Marc Stapelberg

SNEAK PEEK: New food precinct likened to famed NY market

A NEW $10 million development in Byron Bay is being likened to the vibrant Chelsea Markets in New York or the San Francisco boardwalk.

The Hive, 84 Centennial Circuit, is nearing completion but it won't be ordinary coffee shops and cafes, think an urban food court filled with small unique businesses, where the precinct will be developed around producers.

Developer and Kool Kids Early Learning Centre's Creator Bruce Coulson said he had been sitting on the land, more than 4000sqm backing onto the Stone and Wood Brewery, for about four years deciding what its perfect use would be.

"I wanted to base the development around Chelsea Markets in New York where there's just so much happening and people feel like they want to stay for a while - hence The Hive," Mr Coulson said.

"And I thought it was a great opportunity where everybody is a producer, like on the boardwalk of San Francisco.

"A lot of fishmongers will gut the fish, throw it over the counter and you've got to catch it, throw it in your trolley and move along. We've got about 15-20 tenants and I'd say 95 percent of them will be producers."

The site is still under construction, but is flagged for completion in about a month.

Shops will open from next year as they are fit out.

He said the idea was born six years ago when walking through the Chelsea Market himself, Mr Coulson said "it was off the scale".

"I thought, 'We can build a scaled-down version of that'."

"The idea is there will be artistry producers here, producing something. The people have to come in and feel involvement.

"We've got to put in every single tenant and then look at it and say, 'Does that fit?'.

"We've had plenty of interest...but we want it to fit."

A similar development by the same company is established in Casuarina, known as The Commons.

Mr Coulson said around five tenants had been locked in, but there were around 18 spaces to fill all up.

But, he said the nature of the business was childcare, with an "upmarket" centre attached to the development.

He said the childcare centre, which is almost booked out, would bring in 100 families a day into The Hive.

For The Hive, he said they were looking for other producers to fill spaces such as a baker, fish-monger, deli, and wine, among others.



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