Movie theatre and Kmart planned for Wilsonton
MOVIE buffs in Toowoomba's north could soon be munching popcorn in a state-of-the-art theatre at Wilsonton Shopping Centre.
The centre's new owners plan to overhaul the outdated complex with the introduction of an eight-cinema movie theatre, two new fast food outlets and the city's second Kmart department store.
The proposal before council includes the demolition and modernised rebuild of the existing KFC restaurant, a new medical centre and a mechanical repair workshop.
Two levels of basement parking will be incorporated and the centre's maximum height will be increased from one storey to five, reaching its peaking at the cinema.
It will remain two storeys for the majority of the complex.
Wilsonton Shopping Centre currently exists as a cluster of separate retail buildings anchored by Coles and Woolworths.
Coles and Woolworths are expected to remain tenants, but the redevelopment will join the detached structures into "an integrated, connected complex".
They will be tied together through the creation of an "atrium-style area centrally located within the site, functioning as a 'town square'" at the south side of Hooper St.
Brisbane-based investment firm Engage Capital bought the centre last year for $54 million.
Director of development Tim Lakos said the company planned to move ahead with the project as soon as possible.
"We've lodged an application and negotiations are continuing with the anchor tenants," he said,
"It's going well there. The two existing supermarkets both trade very strongly, which is a good indication.
"Once we're at the point where we're capable of delivering the development, we won't delay. We'll get going as soon as possible."
The project will involve the demolition of 5910sq m of shops and the introduction of 9900sq m of new retail floor space.
Another 3160sq m of commercial offices will be added as well as the movie theatre and restaurant, covering 3300sq m collectively.
The demolition will mean several stores will need to be relocated during the construction period.
In a separate development, Dan Murphy's opened its second liquor superstore in Toowoomba last month directly adjacent to Wilsonton Shopping Centre.