Moree's new Gateway development project is making an important statement - that Moree is a regional centre and is “open for business”, according to Moree Plains Shire Council economic development officer Mark Connolly.
The development of the new business precinct is getting underway with interested parties looking to purchase sites.
The project will be located in southern Moree on the council-owned land from the airport stretching north along the Blueberry Road estate.
Projects and Infrastructure consultant Grant Hirst has described the project as “the new gateway to Moree” and said it would create employment and economic growth.
“It is an extremely large site, about 1.6km in length. It will have a huge impact on how Moree is presented,” he said.
The gateway development project will include a business service centre for shops such as car dealerships and services.
A bulky goods section will be anchored by a hardware store. Mr Hirst said two national hardware stores had expressed interest in developing on the site.
There is also a section in the North West area of the development for light industrial buildings.
Near the airport along the Newell Highway there will be a fast food area, a motel, service station and car wash.
Mr Connolly said a tourism presence was expected to be included close to the airport.
Moree and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Debbie Williams said the development was exciting for Moree.
“It is an exciting time for Moree... Moree needs to stand up and be vocal about what we want so we can get it here. To see the reaction from Big W - now is the time for people to voice their opinion and give feedback on what they want.”
“We’ve had interest in aspects of every part of the development. There is a strong demand for the market and we are currently assessing expressions of interest. This is not a normal development; it is one which is designed to grow Moree,” Mr Hirst said.
He explained there would be no specific retail at the gateway development so as not to conflict with retail in the main street, and there would be a positive requirement for purchasers to build on a site rather than letting the block sit.
The design guidelines set out for the development will be adopted for the airport as well. The development will be built by a number of different contractors with a consistent design theme.
“The purpose is so everyone passing through or coming to Moree will want to spend some time in Moree,” Mr Hirst said.
“The economic activity it is going to generate is huge. We are currently working through infrastructure costs preparing a development application to subdivide the land into lots. Over the next few months we will be announcing the purchasers. This project is real and it is going to happen. It is important for the community to understand that they will have a project that they can be proud of.”
The site sizes range from 3000 square metres to 50,000 square metres.
The first stage of development is expected to start in 2013. The development is expected to take about five to seven years to complete.
Businesses interested in being involved in the development should contact Mr Hirst on 9775 1900.