The Molonglo Valley’s long-awaited first shopping centre in Coombs may open by the end of the year with retail tenants now being sought.
Burgess Rawson Canberra managing director Guy Randell said negotiations were in train with a major supermarket and liquor store operator, while expressions of interest were being sought for nine other tenancies, including cafes, restaurants, a gastro pub, hair and beauty salon, and newsagent.
Mr Randell said the building itself could be finished relatively soon but the intention was to finalise tenancies and designs and open all the shops together.
“It could be by the end of the year or early next year,” he said. “Everyone has been hanging for these centres for a long time, and we’re getting close now. We’re in the process of filling them up with the right tenants.”
Mr Randell said the potential supermarket tenant was “really good” fresh food operator and an established independent brand from outside Canberra.
It would anchor the shopping centre on a 1000 square metre site.
A Chinese or Thai restaurant was being sought for the centre’s outdoor dining area, which will have external access so operators can open whenever they wanted.
The wellbeing centre next door already has a medical centre, pharmacy and child care centre confirmed, with five of 11 tenancies left to fill including a gymnasium under negotiation.
The centre still needed a dentist, small imaging facility and other ancillary professionals but it should be delivered by the end of the year.
The shopping centre will have 127 parking spaces, while the health and wellbeing centre will have more than 200.
But Mr Randell said the whole development’s central location meant it would be a walk away for most people.
The project had been on the drawing board since 2015 but only got the go-ahead in 2016 after two development applications were rejected and improvements made to the design.
It will serve the 2600 residents of Coombs and Wright, while Molonglo will eventually be the home of 55,000 people.