THE owner of the Kelso FoodWorks supermarket has increased his stake in the suburb's future by buying the entire Kelso Centrepoint complex.
Praba Kulasegaram became the new owner of the complex, on Boyd Street, about a month ago and has wasted no time since.
He has already started investing in new lights for the site, plans to install CCTV inside and out and wants to open two new businesses - including one, a laundromat, as early as April.
Mr Kulasegaram - who is no stranger to a challenge, having left Sri Lanka as a teenage refugee and built a new life for himself since - said the small shopping centre needed attention.
"It was run down," he said.
"But I know it's a good spot and Kelso is growing."
Mr Kulasegaram also develops houses in Bathurst and Melbourne and said he can see Kelso's potential as new land is released.
"It [Kelso Centrepoint] is over an acre block, so down the track my plan is to knock it [the complex] down, put in a medical centre and redesign the centre with bigger stores.
"It's a 30 or 40-year-old building. So [I will] redesign the thing and have more car parks and more space.
"It's needed in Kelso, otherwise they [residents] all have to go to town."
Having owned Kelso FoodWorks for 13 years, Mr Kulasegaram admitted the suburb had had its challenges over that time.
"I had a hard time in the beginning," he said. "There was a lot of trouble.
"But it's all cleared up. The police have helped us."
Mr Kulasegaram said he had spent $300,000 on improving his supermarket since he had owned it and estimates he will spend more than $500,000 in total once the improvements to the complex and the new shops are taken into account.
His work on Kelso Centrepoint comes at a time of investment on the city’s outskirts.
On the other side of the city, the $10 million redevelopment at Westpoint Shopping Centre in Windradyne, which began in November last year and is due to be complete in June next year, has entered its final stages.
The redevelopment includes new car park spaces, a doubling of space for the IGA supermarket and new retailers.
And not far from Kelso Centrepoint, businesses in stage one of the Gateway commercial development opposite the Gold Panner Motor Inn are due to open in the second half of next year.
The businesses will include a new KFC outlet, a Shell service station, a Little Zebra childcare facility and a Blayney Group wholesale warehouse for food service products.