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06 November 2019
By Jenny Shand
Work on Rupanyup’s planned $1.2-million retail hub is a step closer to starting as project leaders begin to shortlist building contractors vying for the job.
Expressions of interest for the construction of a 250 square-metre supermarket, 375 square-metre retail building and car park closed late last month.
Of the eight companies that expressed interest, four will be invited to put in a detailed tender before a final selection is made.
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Enterprise Rupanyup chair Malcolm Uhe said he expected a decision on the successful tenderer to be made within weeks, with work to kick off soon after.
“We want it to start as soon as possible – but I would be expecting building to start in December at the earliest,” he said.
“It’s certainly exciting to be moving ahead, but that excitement will peak when the building work actually begins.”
The State Government has committed $500,000 to the project, with another $400,000 sourced from organisations including Yarriambiack Shire Council and the Rupanyup-Minyip Community Bank. Enterprise Rupanyup, a community-organised consortium set up to steer the project, has also successfully accessed a loan to make up the shortfall.
Mr Uhe said the loan had been the last piece of the ‘funding puzzle’.
“This project really is a testament to the persistence of people in this town who decided they wanted something and have gone after it,” he said.
“It took us two years to convince the State Government to give us funding – if it hadn’t done that the project would have died in the water.”
Enterprise Rupanyup released designs for the Cromie Street retail precinct in February. The design incorporates a new supermarket, three retail outlets and a community space in the middle.
“We are hoping that one of those three retail outlets will become a café-bakery food outlet and anticipate the second will be the pharmacy depot from Murtoa, which is currently in a temporary location,” Mr Uhe said.
“The third will be another retail outlet of some kind.”
Mr Uhe said construction would take about half a year to complete.
“We’ll do it in stages, with the supermarket first,” he said.
“We were aiming to have it completed by March, but now it could be April or May.”
The community-driven project will rise from the footprint of the town’s existing supermarket and adjoining shops, which were damaged by fire about two years ago.
It will play a part in helping to revitalise the town’s centre and arrest population and service decline.
“At the moment many people go into Horsham to do most of their shopping,” Mr Uhe said.
“This will mean they will be able to shop locally, which is especially important for the elderly.”
The entire November 6, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!