SCROLL DOWN and HAVE YOUR SAY
WELL, it's official: Port Macquarie's Kmart remains on target for construction in 2016.
A spokesperson for the retail giant confirmed to the Port News that plans were progressing well with details to be finalised shortly.
Those plans, once they materialise into bricks and mortar, will include parking for 375 vehicles to service the retailer and associated shops.
The development provides for 276 square metres of separate specialty shops fronting Park Street plus the required associated road upgrades, traffic management work and landscaping.
Those improvements will include the installation of traffic lights on the corner of Park and Warlters Street, the upgrade of Warlters Street to a four-lane median-separated road and a pedestrian crossing in Park Street linking a proposed town square with the adjacent marina development.
All up the development will cost around $17.6 million.
But all that seems of little comfort to the thousands of Port News social media followers who this week ramped up their interest in the arrival of the retail giant.
The site received hundreds of comments and reached over 16,000 people after we put a call out for interested people to visit the site.
One Warlters Street resident, Robyn Davidson, encapsulated the discussion when she asked: 'We want to know when is it coming?'.
"As you can see, this vacant block ... should be built on," she said.
"Everyone I talk to, they all say the same thing, they just want the Kmart building to start."
Long term Settlement Gardens resident, who gave his name simply as Chris, said he was more concerned with getting relevant information on the development.
"I've been a resident here since 1996 and I have concerns over traffic management, delivery timeframes and load levels and how that may interfere with residents' lifestyle," he said.
"There seems to be too many variables and not enough down to earth facts. Has council gone into the impact this development will have on this street and its residents?
"I suspect the delivery trucks will be (arriving) at night and we are not talking about a ute load here either. That is going to interfere with the residents.
"Some of the residents in the complex are quite elderly and they have different medical issues and they don't need any change to their lifestyle."
The Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce Executive Officer Lisa McPherson said the chamber encourages investment within the region.
"The chamber would encourage Kmart to, in regards to the site, activate their investment," Ms McPherson said.
"As a chamber, our role is to continually look ahead to future proofing the demands of our growing population and to provide employment opportunities and enhance consumer choice."
A Port Macquarie-Hastings Council spokesperson said the Kmart complex, including speciality stores, signage, car parking and associated infrastructure - will be built on the vacant site previously occupied by St Joseph's Regional High School.
"The Kmart Development Application was approved by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council on May 21, 2015 with a modification application approved on November 25, 2015," the spokesperson said.