Developer spruiks Rose City benefits for CBD amid business concerns
IT’S a quiet time for retailers on Palmerin St, and some fear the Rose City Shoppingworld development will do little to boost their business outlooks.
Some long-time retailers have expressed concerns at how the development will impact on their businesses.
Mussels owner Fred Moncada said he feared the centre expansion would leave some businesses in “dire straits”.
“We’re saturated with businesses as it is and the economy is difficult at the moment,” he said.
“Retail stores are coming in faster than people.”
The cafe owner of 15 years said he wasn’t against the development, he just worried about a further slow down on Palmerin St.
“The pie is getting bigger and bigger but the slices are getting smaller,” he said.
Jim Samios has been in business in Palmerin St for 60 years.
He believes the shopping centre is good for the town, but said more effort needed to go into keeping the main street vibrant.
“If we don’t have some of the secondary industry come into town to support the shops, the extra shops will pay the penalty,” he said.
“Every time a new shop opens we hear about how many staff will be employed. What we never hear is how many staff their competition have had to let off.”
But Rose City Shoppingworld owners McConaghy Group disagree.
A McConaghy Group spokesman said the expansion could benefit the CBD as a whole.
“The new basement will increase car-parking capacity in the heart of Warwick, enabling more people to shop the CBD and is an opportunity for all businesses,” he said.
“The extension to Rose City Shoppingworld will see a new mall entry created on the corner of Palmerin and Fitzroy Sts.
“This is something that Southern Downs Regional Council have always insisted on to enhance connectivity between the shopping centre and main street.”
The spokesman said competition from retail centres such as Toowoomba was increasing, but McConaghy aimed to give people a reason to shop in Warwick, instead of going further afield.
“The opportunity is open for all businesses to re-invest in Warwick and ensure the CBD remains an attractive place to shop.”
The development has some Palmerin St retailers remaining positive.
Bryson’s Place owner Lynn Bryson said she believed the development would bring more people to town.
“When it’s up and running I think it’ll be a real drawcard,” she said.
Classic Dimensions owner Robyn Fraser remember retailers feeling apprehensive during the first expansion in 1998.
“I think any progress in a town is a positive,” she said.
“McConaghy obviously has confidence in this area.”
The retailer of 31 years is hopeful the expansion will keep more people shopping locally.
“The old story is competition is healthy,” she said. “We’ve got to have the town’s support for us all to survive.”