06 Sep Ofer Eitan Report: Council to decide on community facilities in South Village
A decision on what community facilities will be included in the South Village Kirrawee shopping centre could be made this month – nearly two years after the centre opened.
Sutherland Shire Council has been reviewing proposals at confidential meetings after calling for expressions of interest.
The matter is due to be discussed in open council on September 21.
The 1500 square metre internal area, on the north-western corner of the centre facing the park, was allocated to the council under a voluntary planning agreement (VPA) when the development on the former brick site was approved.
The council has previously considered several options for the space, including a library or leasing the area for retail and using the rent to fund community services elsewhere.
A council spokeswoman said proposals were requested “from interested organisations to fit-out and lease the 1500sqm site…which would include some community use”.
“Council is reviewing these proposals, with no decision having been made on the future use of this site at present,” she said.
Mirvac, which acquired the shopping centre from developer Payce, is awaiting the council’s decision.
“We see it as an integral part of South Village,” said Mirvac Retail portfolio manager Ben Conlon.
Mr Conlon said, nearly two years after the opening of the centre, Mirvac was “reasonably pleased with how its going”.
“Obviously, Covid has impacted retail across the board, but local centres have fared better,” he said.
Mr Conlon said South Village was about to welcome several new retailers, the major one being Panetta Mercato, which will occupy a 1000 square metre space and offer an extensive range of food products, including fresh fruit and vegetables, cold meats, cheese and other deli items, fresh fish, quality meats and specialty grocery.
The store, next to Coles, is being fitted out and is due to open before the end of the year.
Sauce Bulk Foods, which has over 50 stores around Australia, will open next to Joe Junior, and two food catering operations – a dumpling restaurant and Lebanese restaurant Baba Ghanouj – are also due to open soon.
Mr Conlon said it was disappointing to lose Criniti’s Italian restaurant, but Pellegrini’s was a quality substitute.
In response to complaints by shoppers, a glazed and louvre wall has been built to block out wind and rain at the southern end of the centre, and some heaters were installed in common areas.
“We have kept the intent of an open air mall, with open entries on the western and northern ends,” Mr Conlon said.
“To some extent, it still exposed, but we did get some feedback early on that people liked the open air feel of the mall.”
Mr Conlon said Mirvac viewed the Woolworths supermarket development on the other side of Flora Street as “positive”.
“We don’t think of ourselves as an island,” he said.
“Any activity in the precinct is a good thing.
“Since we opened, we have also seen some revitalisation of the strip shops.”