We all know the Sunshine Plaza as the largest and most fabulous shopping hub on the Sunshine Coast. Whether you’re catching the latest flick at the Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinema, meeting with friends over a cup of coffee at one of its fine riverfront café’s, taking the family out on the river for a ride in the paddle boats, or indulging in some retail therapy, the Sunshine Plaza is the go-to destination for many locals and tourists in this coastal town.
Over the next few years, the Sunshine Plaza is set to undertake a massive $350 million makeover. Redevelopment plans have been set into motion and the expansion of this precinct is inevitable.
The plaza, as locals refer to it, has had a long and rich history, and originally began trading in the 1980’s under the name The Sands Shopping Centre as a direct competition for the Big Top Shopping Centre located across the road
Sunshine Plaza has already seen major redevelopments throughout its thirty year history. Once purchased by the Lend Lease Corporation in 1990, the new owners changed the name of the shipping centre to The Sunshine Plaza and added a Coles and Kmart by the end of 1994, and a Myer department store as well as a multi deck expansion in 1999. Lend Lease also put developments into action for a river walk precinct which was completed in 2002. The latest expansion included the addition of a Woolworth’s supermarket, a new leisure and restaurant area, and the expansion of the already existing Birch Carroll and Coyle cinema complex.
The new improvements in 2014/2015 are set to see an additional 37,000 square metres added to the already 62,000 square foot Plaza. The proposal states that a third level will be added including a new café/restaurant terrace with dining courtyards, additional retail shops, outdoor seating and a large playground for children. In addition to the third level, 1,500 car parks will be provided, ensuing a total 5,035 parking bays within the entire centre. It’s likely that the new car parks will be located at the end of Southern Drive near the Officeworks, and the remaining car parks are also set to receive an upgrade.
Since the announcement of the redevelopment, David Jones has revealed that they will create a brand new store within the centre encouraging an excess of over 1,000 retail positions. Lend Lease retail development Gary Horowitz stated that there would be more than 5,700 jobs on offer from the consultation and flow-on effect to related industries and providers.
Major Mark Jamieson has also welcomed the council’s decision to approve the development saying this investment will create confidence, jobs and a high class retail experience for residents and visitors.