A $50m vision for Maclean

By JURIS GRANEY

ANDREW Baker Holdings (ABH) has unveiled a $50 million Maclean CBD revamp which will not only keep a supermarket in the town centre, but will include a marina capable of accommodating up to 32 vessels.

On top of the monumental Maclean revamp is news of a further multimillion-dollar development in the booming region of Gulmarrad which will incorporate a supermarket, aged care housing site and community park donated to Clarence Valley Council.

The new plans come only a week after Brisbane-based company, The McConaghy Group, revealed its own $25 million supermarket centre blueprint on the southern entrance to Maclean.

The land for the ABH proposed development, owned by a subsidiary company of ABH, Lanai, has been purchased over four years costing the company more than $3.5 million.

The last purchase was the Palace Arcade, which was bought recently for $1.45 million enabling the company to release its masterplan.

A 5000 square-metre supermarket complex, including space for up to 23 retail stores, is planned for the congested car park at the rear of the Palace Arcade, set to double the carparking capacity in the town.

Mr Baker said the existing tenants would have first dibs on the retail space within the new shopping complex.

The four-stage plan would begin with the construction of the supermarket, costing $18 million, while a further $5 million would be injected into the stage two refurbishment of the Palace Arcade, a town icon.

Stages three and four, costing $27 million, will be the revamping of the rear of the town, nestled along the underutilised Clarence River.

The planned marina will include up to 20 permanent moorings for those lucky enough to purchase one of the 30 units that will be up for sale on top of a collection of al-fresco eateries and other retail outlets.

A further 12 casual moorings will enable those wanting a trip down from Yamba to spend time in Maclean.

Two lines of sight will be maintained from River Street, to enable tourists and locals to see the otherwise unsighted river.

There are plans for a further 90 car spaces at the marina, further alleviating the car parking crisis in town.

"This relies on council approving us to lift the ground level height to the levee wall so we can have carparking underneath," he said.

"This plan will more than double the existing car spaces in town.

"This plan needs council's cooperation.

"Firstly they have to agree to sell the airspace needed to build the supermarket and secondly a rethink of the current waterfront plan to enable the marina."

Further afield, the Gulmar- rad development, proposed for the corner of the Brooms Head Road and Sheehans Lane, will include a 1500 square-metre site for another supermarket, 300 square-metre mixed retail site, 400 square-metre medical suite site, space for another retail village, tennis facilities, community hall and pre-school.

Mr Baker said a rezoning application for the site, to allow the commercial development, has been with council for 15 months and was linked to the Maclean CBD redevelopment.

"We will need to accommodate room for Maclean Home Timber and Hardware's bulkier items to move from where they are," he said.

"It all needs to be done in stages. The supermarket will be the first to be built and while we are doing that we will need to start construction on the Sheehans Lane development."

Clarence Valley Council has agreed to meet with Mr Baker in March to discuss his proposal, after a decision is made on the tender for the Maclean Library, which will be unaffected in Mr Baker's development plan.

More than 50 people attended Monday night's Maclean Chamber of Commerce meeting to hear Mr Baker's proposal and the chamber president, Keith Maude, said there was overwelming support for the proposal.

"The major benefit is the development keeps a supermarket in the middle of the existing CBD," he said.

What do you think? Send us an email at newsroom@dai- lyexaminer.com.au.



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