Supermarket will ?keep rents down
By PETER CATON
THE developer of a proposed new supermarket in Murwillumbah has warned business rents in the town could skyrocket if it is built in the CBD.
Nigel Mercer of NEP Development, Construction and Investment says the planned Supa IGA supermarket and associated shops are best located on the old Norco factory site at South Murwillumbah.
He believes a "neighbourhood pit-stop shopping centre" there will relieve demand for convenience shopping as well as reduce traffic and parking congestion in town.
But council planning staff are understood to oppose new retail development outside the Murwillumbah CBD in a report on the project still being prepared for the administrators.
Mr Mercer said building the complex in the heart of town would push up rents and worsen congestion.
"There is a need for another supermarket in Murwillumbah," Mr Mercer said.
"If we buy something in the CBD and knock it down people will have to pay the same rents as Pacific Fair.
"The effect on the CBD will be devastating.
"This centre (on the Norco site) will make the flow of traffic better. I can only see it as something positive for the retailers in town.
"It is really for quick shopping. People will go in there, get something and go.
"If they want to get some retail therapy they will go down to the CBD and get a dress or whatever."
Mr Mercer said he believed the administrators would look favourably at the project with opposition coming solely from "the salaried staff of the council".