Council moves on Wigmore
PLANS are under way for a major redevelopment of Wigmore Arcade in Ballina's CBD.
The council recently resolved to progress the remodelling of the arcade as part of an overall strategy to rejuvenate the town centre.
Wigmore Arcade is one of the CBD's biggest commercial sites, and includes 22 shops.
It was bequeathed to the council more than 40 years ago by Florence Price.
However, a number of the shops are now empty, and many of the remaining tenants are in limbo on month-by-month leases.
Commercial services manager, Paul Tsikleas, admitted the arcade was "tired and dated, and is failing to attract shoppers and tenants".
"Council has engaged the services of a specialist retail architect, the BN Group, to transform the arcade into a bright open space in keeping with the latest retail trends and create a meeting place within the CBD," he said.
"The theme proposed for remodelling of the arcade will focus on creating a food emporium and cafes similar to the Ferry Road Market concept at Southport on the Gold Coast."
Ballina mayor David Wright said the council was committed to brightening up the town centre.
He said the recent completion of the upgrades to River St from Cherry to Martin Sts cost about $4 million.
Another $2.5 million will be spent on the demolition of the two Tamar St arcades to make way for about 60 new car parks and new public toilets.
"Woolworths has clearly demonstrated their confidence in the Ballina CBD with the decision to construct a new larger supermarket that is more in keeping with retail trends and customer expectations," he said.
"Council is following Woolworths' lead to update and get competitive."
The council has resolved to proceed with further design work and preparation of a development application for remodelling of Wigmore Arcade.
It is hoped that a development application will be lodged within six months.