By Rowan Forster
Kmart has powered forward with plans to set up shop in Warragul, as the potential for a Pakenham store plunges further into doubt.
Baw Baw Shire Council on Thursday announced that a 25,240 square metre retail precinct had been approved for the corner of Queen Street and Hazel Drive – securing the beloved department store and a full-line Bunnings.
Meanwhile, the application for a $43 million “mega-development” on the Princes Highway, Pakenham has remained untouched since July, 2018.
The proposal, handled by urban planning firm RobertsDay, was slated to include a major department store – rumoured to be Kmart – and a cinema complex.
Since the application was lodged with Cardinia Shire, council has requested further information about the proposal.
That request has not yet been met.
RobertsDay has not yet confirmed if the development is still going ahead.
However, Warragul’s development has been given the tick of approval.
It will also include a Kmart Tyre and Auto and six smaller retail spaces – with the tenants yet to be determined.
Plans also include provisions for 627 car parking spaces.
The application was approved by Council’s planning department under the relevant delegation following the rezoning of the land by the Victorian Government in August, 2018.
Mayor Mikaela Power praised the efforts of the community and council officers in making the development a reality.
“This is a fantastic milestone for our community,” she said.
“Our local economy will benefit with more spending staying within our shire.
“This is important to ensure we continue to foster a thriving local economy and provide jobs closer to home.”
“Soon we will have more retail options closer to home and this is good news for people across Baw Baw Shire.”
It is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the Gippsland area.
The development aims to provide more diverse shopping options for the local community that complement existing retailers in the Warragul CBD area and surrounds.
Construction will soon commence with completion expected towards the end of 2019.