Will we get a Bunnings?
GYMPIE may soon have its own Bunnings Warehouse.
The Gympie Times believes the hardware company has a contract to purchase the Twin Lakes Caravan Park and is at present undergoing due diligence before the sale is finalised at the end of this month.
Twin Lakes now offers low-cost housing to dozens of families in Gympie and is in an ideal spot, just off the Bruce Hwy.
It is understood Bunnings Warehouse has been in discussions with the Gympie Council about the suitability of Twin Lakes for its Gympie retail hardware site.
This comes after Melco Lanhams Mitre 10 has started an upgrade of its hardware business, which will be situated at Bunworth Park.
That redevelopment would mean 5000sq m of building, hardware, gardens and plumbing all in one place at the new premises.
Building works started at the site six weeks ago and should be completed in July, with the hardware store to open in August or September.
Melco Lanhams chief executive Darren Jordison previously told The Gympie Times the upgrade would give the business a "fighting chance" in today's tough economic climate.
Mr Jordison said he had heard that Bunnings was looking to come to Gympie, but was not too worried about the competition.
Yesterday Bunnings chief operating officer Peter Davis remained non-committal about the deal.
"Bunnings is always actively looking at high quality sites and Gympie remains an area we are interested in, if the right opportunity becomes available," he said.
Meanwhile when asked whether Bunnings was Melco Lanhams' biggest competitor, Mr Jordison said there was plenty of competition.
"Competition is just a part of life," Mr Jordison said.
"We've designed for the long term to compete with the biggest and best in the industry," he said.
"They're a formidable force, but there are plenty of others in the market."
The new Melco Lanhams Mitre 10 design includes a separate 70m drive-through section for tradesmen.
Mr Jordison said the premises would be able to stock a bigger range and was a chance to solve safety and flood issues that were associated at the existing Park Tce address.
Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne said there was not much he could say except that
Bunnings had been talking to the council about a site in Gympie.
He said no application had been lodged.