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Sun. May 26th, 2024

Now that the central mall is back to full and foot traffic is slowly increasing, attention is turning to the surrounding retail areas and efforts are being made to restore them as well.

Armidale Plaza was once a thriving hub of town, under constant pressure to expand and improve parking access. Then one by one many key businesses left, with replacements failing to bring in the same foot traffic. With the recent relocation of Kmart to the old Big W location in Armidale Central, many feared the Plaza, including the historically important Richardson’s Arcade, would not recover.

Hope has been offered in the form of new management. Real Estate giants Colliers have been brought on to take over the leasing for Armidale Plaza and fill the many vacancies.

“We are looking for a mix of established service, food and beverage and Allied health operators to join the centre and service the needs of the local community as well as compliment the existing retailers within the centre,” Henry Slack Smith from Colliers said.

Colliers have produced a new brochure for the centre which highlights the many reasons why Armidale should have a better retail scene than most centres, including that the population is younger, and the incomes are higher. Average income in Armidale is 10% higher than the Sydney metro average, the discretionary spend of consumers in Armidale is higher than average, and the average retail spend per resident higher than the state average. The rapid growth of the local population and economy is also a selling point.

The brochure offers 14 spaces in the centre, boasting Spotlight, Anytime Fitness, and Cheap as Chips, as well as the new ‘Fresh and Save’ warehouse that will open in the old Kmart location, as anchor retailers.

Mr Slack Smith also told The New England Times that the centre had not been sold, despite being on the market for many years, they had just taken over the leasing. The Centre is still owned by Adelaide based DiMauro Group.

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