Family businesses evicted weeks before Christmas
An interstate developer is evicting long-term tenants just weeks out from Christmas - before receiving council approval to redevelop the prime Noosaville site.
Leasing agent Ray White Commercial has blamed the earlier eviction to council road works, however, a Noosa Council spokesperson confirmed work on the Hilton Tce roundabout would not begin until early next year.
Business owners on Hilton Tce were shocked to receive the eviction notice last month, saying they were led to believe their leases were safe until February 2018.
They now have until November 30 to find new premises. Some have been offered a retail space back once development is complete but must pay up to five times as much rent.
Noosa Boatman owner Dale Fisher said the new exit date had thrown his plans "into chaos".
"I've been here for 10 years. Our biggest trading period is December to January," he said.
"You'll never replace this - it's a high profile site."
Rob Soens from Northcoast Batteries and Trailers said he made half of his yearly income in December and was under the impression he could trade through the busy period.
"Christmas is our peak trading season. Half our money of the year is generated during December," Mr Soens said.
"We all knew that this precinct here was going to be demolished... (but) this fast-tracking of the construction dates has resulted in displacing five or six local businesses one month before our biggest trading month of the year."
Mr Soens said none of the businesses would be able to afford the rental rates in the new retail spaces.
"We're paying $800 a month rent, and they offered us a new shop at $3500 a month," Mr Soens said.
"They said you can sell batteries but you can no longer do trailers. They're actually halving my business and quadrupling my rent."
Ray White Commercial director Paul Forrest said the rent will be cheaper than others offered in nearby commercial zones.
"They're not skyrocketed rates but they're set at a rate that'll be cheaper than Gympie Tce," he said.
Acting planning and environment manager Patrick Murphy said the development application would be assessed at a future council meeting.
The developers plan to demolish the 60-year-old buildings to make way for a retail/hospitality precinct.