Hooper Centre.
Hooper Centre.

Developer delays extension to major CBD shopping centre

EXTENSIONS to a popular Toowoomba CBD shopping centre have been delayed again by the developer, six years after plans were first approved.

Applicant HCPT Pty Ltd, which owns the Hooper Centre on Hume St, last week submitted a further two-year extension to an expansion of the facility.

The new stand-alone retail building, approved in 2013, would add 300sq m to the north-east corner of the shopping centre.

A two-year extension was approved in 2017, which was due to expire next month.

Submitting on behalf of the applicant, Precinct Urban Planning's Jess Garratt said construction was originally delayed due to a fire that extensively damaged the building in 2013.

"This required the closure and/or relocation of anchor and other tenants and a major rebuild of a significant portion of the centre," she wrote in a letter to the council.

"A substantial refurbishment to restore the centre's viability along with these works took approximately 24 months to complete and resulted in a substantial financial drain and time loss for the centre's owner."

Ms Garratt said funds originally allocated for the extension had to be redirected to repairing the building.

"Additional finance has not been able to be secured for the extension due to the on-going effects of the building fire, which has resulted in lower leasing pre-commitments than expected," she wrote.

The applicant has requested a new deadline of August 2021 to start work.

The council officers are currently assessing the application.

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