TOP SECRET: Lismore's new shopping centre kept under wraps
TWO 'mystery' anchor tenants have been locked in for Lismore's brand new shopping centre, which is set to open in the first half of next year on the old Masters hardware site in South Lismore.
However, for now their identities are being kept secret, at least until the remainder of tenants are finalised for the big box store.
David Di Pilla, who spearhearded the move last year by a consortium of Australian retail groups to snap up the Masters property portfolio, said all would be revealed in coming weeks.
"There's a bit of competitive interest," Mr Di Pilla explained.
"We'll choose who we think are the best tenants to bring the site back to the community.
Mr Di Pilla said interest from prospective tenants had come from both existing Lismore retail chains and those who had yet to establish a presence in the regional centre.
"Lismore is definitely one of the sites we want to focus on, and (it) will remain a Home Consortium branded site," he said.
He made the point that the Masters site was built to withstand a one in a 100 year flood, which gave it "major strategic value" for retailers given Lismore' flood prone history.
According to the development application for the site lodged with Lismore City Council last December, the site will have eight large stores plus a cafe.
It will be a "hybrid" retail centre primarily dedicated to the "leisure and lifestyle" category as well as featuring some homeware focused offerings.
Lismore City Council approved the $11.5 million development application to repurpose the Bruxner Highway, South Lismore site into a shopping mall last December.
More broadly, Home Consortium is moving full steam ahead with its plan to open up to 80 sites across the country by the end of 2018, with four already open.
Mr Di Pilla said the debut of the chain's first Sydney store in Marsden Park on the weekend had 5000 people attend and a "very positive reaction from retailers".
Twenty more sites are set to open in the first half of next year, including Lismore.
Home Consortium includes investors from three private Australia companies Aurrum, Chemist Warehouse, and Spotlight Group.