HUNDREDS of blocks to be developed just down the road will bring new customers straight past the doors of the Kelso Centrepoint complex, according to one of its long-term business owners.
Wayne Beard, who has run the Kelso Centrepoint Newsagency for 32 years, says the mood is good in the complex after a recent change in its ownership and with the suburb’s population growing.
The Advocate reported recently that long-time Kelso FoodWorks owner Praba Kulasegaram had bought the Centrepoint site and had plans including installing CCTV and opening a laundromat in the short term and redeveloping the complex in the long term.
Mr Kulasegaram said the complex was run down but had plenty of potential – and Mr Beard agrees.
“He will have a good little centre here to keep on going for years,” Mr Beard said.
Mr Beard said previous Kelso Centrepoint owners during his time – most of whom, he said, were from out of town – had not invested in the centre, but Mr Kulasegaram’s work on the car park and new lighting had been noticed.
Even something as simple as putting up Christmas decorations in the centre had made a difference, he said.
“People said, geez, it looks nice with the Christmas decorations,” Mr Beard said.
With the laundromat open by April, Mr Beard said all the centre’s shops will be full, and the nearby land releases will bring new customers into the area.
Between the lots approved at the former Sunbright Orchard site, between Limekilns Road and Marsden Lane, and the lots approved at 240 Limekilns Road, Mr Beard said there will be more than 300 homes built.
Add in the blocks to be developed north of the Bathurst Supa Centre and off Marsden Lane and the new total is more than 700 homes, he said.
“In the next five years, there will be 500 to 700 houses, no worries in the world,” he said.
“Our road [Boyd Street] will be more or less the highway part [for those houses].
“People won't use Marsden Lane or Hereford Street because it's too clogged now, so they’ll use Boyd Street to go into town and will drive straight past us.”
For every new household, Mr Beard said, a minimum of two cars can be expected.
“So for the next four to five years, that’s 1000 to 1400 cars a day leaving the area and a lot will be going up and down past the door [to Kelso Centrepoint]. If you get five to 10 per cent of that, it's got real potential.”
Mr Kulasegaram’s long-term plan is to redevelop the complex and put in a medical centre.
Mr Beard said he believed a real estate agency and chemist would be two possible new tenancies if the Kelso Centrepoint site was redeveloped down the track.