Stockland stores pull pin citing rent hikes as reason

STOCKLAND Gladstone celebrated its newest store opening on Thursday, but the eastside redevelopment hasn't been great for all businesses.

Two businesses will close on Friday and Saturday, with both saying increased rent was their main reasoning.

But Stockland Gladstone said it wouldn't be appropriate to discuss tenants' personal situations.

The closure of Wendy's will put 10 staff out of work, while the Wide Bay banking branch staff who wanted to stay were accommodated with positions at another branch.

Wendy's franchise manager Kaylee Hance said her staff weren't as fortunate.

"We've been here for four years and they're upping the rent again.

"We've known about the increase for a few months," she said, but they were waiting to see if they could renegotiate.

Ms Hance said it became unfeasible in the end, along with the addition of other food outlets providing similar products.

Wide Bay Australia Central Queensland regional manager Matthew Dunnill said following the shopping centre extension, the Wide Bay Kin Kora branch had been boxed into a dark corridor, while the rent had been "significantly" increased.

"We would like to have stayed in the Kin Kora area, and I know they're doing a refurbishment on the other side so we'll look at opportunities there across the way," he said.

"But nothing else ideally that suited us there."

He said it was disappointing for customers, but Wide Bay still had branches on Goondoon St in the CBD, which has been recently renovated, and at Tannum Sands.

A statement from Stockland said: "When tenants decide to move out of the centre there are often a number of factors involved. It wouldn't be appropriate for us to discuss any individual tenant's personal situation."

Stockland has earlier reported the $160 million redevelopment of the Coles, Target and Kmart complex will begin in October.

The three-year, three-staged development will bring a full line Coles, Kmart and Target as well as two mini-majors, 10 cafe and food retailers, four restaurants and 101 specialty stores.

Stockland has always reported it would not begin to build until the Kin Kora roundabout development was sorted, which will begin after July following funding commitments from both the state and federal governments.

The Gladstone Regional Council approved the project last year.

The new centre will see the Stockland complex extend to 45,000sq m of space, with up to 160 stores in total.

Councillors are hoping the new development will stop locals leaving Gladstone to shop.



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