Bunnings store coming to Gympie
BUNNINGS plans to build a $41 million megastore in Gympie that will generate hundreds of jobs and strengthen Gympie's status as a major business and commercial centre.
The Bunnings Group lodged a planning application last Friday for a 14,600sq m warehouse and showroom on the site of the former Twin Lakes Caravan Park, bound by the Bruce Hwy, Hall Rd and Eldorado Rd, 5km south of the Gympie CBD.
The giant warehouse was expected to generate up to 400 jobs while under construction and maintain employment for more than 140 staff once open - 70% of those positions would be full-time and 30% part-time or casual.
A town planning report lodged with Gympie Regional Council by consultants RPS on behalf of Bunnings said the group was the leading supplier of home improvement and outdoor living products operating within Australia.
"This sector is experiencing strong growth and a high level of demand has been identified in Gympie," the report said.
Planning councillor Ian Petersen yesterday welcomed Bunnings' arrival on the commercial scene as an emphatic sign of confidence in the region's future and potential for development.
"They are a very professional, nationwide organisation and they do their homework very thoroughly," he said.
"They don't make these decisions on the spur of the moment."
The 4.7ha site would be developed in two stages.
Stage 1 would include the Bunnings showroom and shop, main entry, a cafe, office and staff amenities, a trade area, nursery area and car parking for 309 vehicles.
Stage 2 would happen once the warehouse was open and involved a separate building for four commercial tenancies, 2210sq m in size, and with another 63 car parks.
"This will create an identity for the site and establish a commercial focus in the area prior to the development of the third party commercial tenancies," the report said.
Bunnings applied for a number of development approvals over the site, including a material change of use, given that the land was zoned rural but was surr
ounded by growing light industry and has been occupied for the past 20 years by the Twin Lakes caravan park.
It also applied for preliminary approval to carry out building and operational works to prepare the land for construction.
Bunnings would be open 6am-9pm Monday to Friday and 6am-6pm on weekends.
It was a major supplier to project builders, commercial tradespeople, the housing industry and the domestic market.