Azura ready to move
By ED SOUTHORN
SMALL business operators forced to make way for Marine Parade's biggest new residential and retail development mostly support the changing face of Kingscliff's "eat street".
Eight commercial premises between the Seaview Street roundabout and the ambulance station will be torn down, including landmark restaurants Red Hot Thai and Amici, to make way for the Azura project of 22 apartments and 16 retail shops.
The small business operators are due to vacate their premises by May.
Some have already gone, such as Narelle Jacobs' Kidadu Kidz clothing boutique.
Narelle said she hopes to re-open in Kingscliff, but at this stage is still considering her future and possible retail locations which may be suitable for her business.
She believes the three-storey Azura project is well suited for the new look Kingscliff.
"I'm very impressed with the new building, I've seen the plans. That's what Kingscliff needs, more apartments," Narelle said.
"We need more people here to help businesses along."
Italian restaurant Amici will temporarily relocate to the Grand Paci-fic Hotel, before taking up a new lease in the Azura building, according to Amici owner John Slavic.
John said he hoped to be operating from the hotel by the end of this month, offering pub-style lunches along with his Italian pizza and pasta menu in the evenings.
"I'm sorry to see the old charm and character go from this part of Marine Parade, but I'm also looking forward to the new building," John said.
"It will be a real eye-opener and I think we will see a lot more people in town."
Red Hot Thai owner Scott Purdon said he also would re-open his restaurant in the Azura building, but he wasn't sure yet if he would "take a holiday" or relocate Red Hot Thai to temporary premises in the meantime.
"The building we're in now has a lot of character, but this is progress," Scott said.
Julie Franklin and Cheryl Anderson will close their Afternoon Delights ice creamery and cafe for up to 18 months until they re-open in the Azura complex.
The pair are happy with their arrangement to lease new premises at Azura, even if Cheryl says she may have to look for part-time work in the interim.
"Most of us will be coming back (in Azura)," said Julie."We do like the old atmosphere of Kingscliff, but change is here," she said.
"The new building is excellent. It's a beautiful structure, very well designed."
Barber Tony West, who has been cutting hair in Marine Parade for 13 years, said he was looking for new premises elsewhere in Kingscliff.
Tony said the Tweed Coast property boom had led to some of his older customers selling up, replaced by tradespeople and some new residents.
"At the moment, I've just had a turnover of people but once Casuarina and Salt are fully established we will eventually have a lot more people here," Tony said.