Salamander Bay will benefit from a $16.5 million boost to the local economy as a result of developments to the shopping precinct, Port Stephens Council figures reveal.
Work is underway to turn a block of council-owned land along Salamander Way, outside Salamander Bay Shopping Centre, into a commercial hub.
A standalone ALDI shopping store, Woolworths service station and medical centre are among the first developments to be given the green light for construction within the new hub by the council.
Jane Perrin, the council’s economic development coordinator, said the developments are expected to generate about 70 jobs once complete.
“The shopping precinct will directly employ about 50 people across a range of industry sectors, including retail, health care, food services, administration and support services,” Ms Perrin said.
“Those wages will then be reinvested into the local economy through general expenditure and consumption, which will further benefit local businesses and the community of Salamander Bay.”
After a series of botched attempts, the long-awaited proposed expansion of the commercial hub outside Salamander Bay Shopping Centre was approved in November 2015.
Also read: Salamander Bay Shopping Centre in new hands
It came after councillors voted to support the lodgement of a development application (DA) to subdivide the council-owned land into seven lots.
Port Stephens Council resolved to develop the land in July 2016 and appointed Daracon to undertake work, which began soon after.
The project includes the installation of traffic lights and pedestrian crossings at the intersection of Bagnall Beach Road and Town Centre Circuit, as well as a second access road for the shopping centre, to be called Central Avenue, off Bagnall Beach Road.
ALDI was one of the first retailers to confirm its interest in the expansion of the Salamander Bay shopping precinct with the purchase of a 7832 square metre portion of lot four.
Councillors voted in favour of its application to build a standalone store in June 2017.
At the last council meeting, on August 1, the council approved a DA to build a Woolworths service station, coming after a decision was deferred so councillors could conduct a site inspection.
The service station, to be built on lot one, will include four double-sided fuel bowsers, one LPG dispenser, fuel storage tanks, a convenience store and parking for 12 cars.
An application to build a medial centre on lot three was also approved by councillors at the August 1 meeting.
The medical centre will be located on the western side of the commercial hub.
Within the building will be a general medical practice, imaging facilities, after hours GP service, pharmacy and pathology laboratories.
The DA also includes the addition of a coffee shop, 52 car spaces, dedicated bicycle parking, landscaping and signage.
“A lot of hard work has gone into making sure council attracts the right kind of retailers to Salamander Bay, so that this precinct will become a huge drawcard for locals and visitors alike,” Carmel Foster, the council's corporate services group manager, said.
“With this development comes improved traffic outcomes for the centre, including two new roundabouts due to open early September, as well as a bus interchange and new traffic lights planned for completion by late October.
“We've also been able to retain the majority of koala habitat trees on the site; while six trees needed to be removed, this has been offset with a total of 300 additional trees being planted within the subdivision.”
Storm water, sewer and water services have been installed in the subdivision, as has two electrical sub-stations to service the lots.
Power and telecommunications are currently being installed.
Pedestrian access will be improved around the Salamander Bay shopping precinct.
A network of shared paths will be constructed around the entire subdivision, including the western side of Bagnall Beach Road between the Salamander Way and Sandy Point Road roundabouts.
A shared path will also provide access to the residential areas to the north of the site, via Purser Street.