Reed Property Group will transform the iconic Big Top Shopping Centre into an all weather fresh food hybrid market which will combine the convenience of one of the region’s largest supermarkets, along with specialty shops and over 100 stalls from local producers on designated Market Days.
In what will be a first for the Sunshine Coast, the $20 million refurbishment will capitalise on the growing popularity of farmers’ markets as well as provide a convenient and accessible CBD outlet for local growers to peddle their wares.
Reed Property Group Managing Director Ken Reed said Big Top Market Fresh would be a fresh and exciting shopping experience covering 10,000 square metres of space including the full-line Woolworths Supermarket and specialty stores as well as a dedicated space for Market Days.
“Most capital cities in Australia have a major central market precinct which provides residents, local workers and tourists with a unique opportunity to buy the freshest local produce and other convenience items in the one location.
“Having our own all weather market with abundant parking spaces highlights the growing maturity of the Sunshine Coast as a food lover’s destination and provides a unique opportunity to access and showcase our abundant locally grown produce,” he said.
Mr Reed said the revitalised Big Top would be a key factor in positioning the Maroochydore CBD as the Principal Activity Centre and a place where residents, workers and tourists could access convenient and fresh services with a true local flavour.
“Our research has told us there are around 7,000 workers located in the Maroochydore CBD so it will be a convenient place for them to do their shopping or grab their lunch or dinner. We also have 300,000 residents living within a 40 minute drive of the Big Top so this will enable people to come to a central location and do all of their shopping under the one roof. What we are offering is designed to complement the existing services and provide an unmatched fresh food alternative,” Mr Reed said.
“The Big Top Shopping Centre was the first of its kind on the Sunshine Coast and there is a lot of history and tradition with markets as the meeting place for a local community to show and share locally-grown produce. We think it’s a recipe for success.”
Sunshine Coast Mayor, Cr Mark Jamieson said he was excited to see the Big Top site being revitalised in line with Council’s vision for a bustling CBD and in a way that could contribute to the Rural Futures Strategy by offering a CBD outlet for locally-grown produce.
“The Big Top site is a large parcel in the region’s CBD and it’s essential that the Principal Activity Centre of Maroochydore offers a range of experiences and options that is true to the Sunshine Coast brand,” he said.
Mr Reed said the first stage of the redevelopment would include replacing the existing sails which have caused concerns for tenants and shoppers during extreme rain events.
“We know the roof has been a major issue and this is the first thing we will address and once this is in place we will begin the internal refurbishment which will include a wet area for a butcher, fishmonger, deli and dairy area as well as dry markets for fresh fruit and vegetables,” Mr Reed said.
Construction is expected to commence in mid 2013 with the revitalised centre planned to open for Easter 2014. A core of the Centre is expected to remain open for business during refurbishment.