Showcase out of touch
MAKE Coolangatta's giant "dead space" in the closed-off half of the Showcase shopping centre "live" again.
That's the aim for Gold Coast City Councillor Sue Robbins and Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce president Barry McNamara.
With shops and offices in Showcase empty for more than a decade, the landmark complex is overdue for improvement, according to the two civic leaders.
Cr Robbins said redevelopment along Marine Parade and at the base of Kirra Hill was mostly finalised and car-parking in Chalk Street was coping well with increased traffic.
If necessary, the Chalk Street parking precinct in the long term could have an above-ground storey.
Responding to questions from the Daily News, Cr Robbins and Mr McNamara agreed Showcase was one of the last unfinished pieces in the jigsaw of Coolangatta's rebirth.
Mr McNamara hopes to meet Showcase's Sydney-based owners, the Vinta Group, soon to discuss a possible makeover for the huge building between Griffith Street and Marine Parade. "We are keen to see Showcase become more successful," Mr McNamara said yesterday.
Cr Robbins said she supported re-modelling of Showcase with residential balcony apartments on the top floors, retail outlets on the ground floor and offices on the first floor.
Showcase is understood to be thinking about improvements, with an Aldi supermarket a possible
If so, Mr McNamara hopes Showcase will focus on boutique retailing, not just chain stores and franchises. Mr McNamara said more than 700 car-parking spaces underneath Showcase could handle increased activity.
Brian Austin of Southport, who visits Coolangatta every week, said events like Wintersun did well at Showcase, but if the complex was part-converted for residential accommodation it could make the town too busy.
Yvette Black of Kingscliff, who visits Coolangatta for shopping, agreed Showcase "needs a tidy up".
"It would be really good to see it all opened up and improved," she said.
Vinta Group development manager Theo van Veenandale did not respond to a request for comment.
Aldi spokeswoman Angela Moffatt said the company did not comment on its future plans.