Media had a sneak preview of the exciting new EPIQ Marketplace this morning in Lennox Head. Stage one of the public opening is tomorrow at 8am.
Kellé Murphy, Retail Communications Manager for Clarence Property, which is responsible for the development, says it’s been an epic job getting the new EPIQ Marketplace shopping centre finished while COVID-19 has been happening, but the team has been buoyed by ‘excellent feedback’ from the community.
‘Most of the leases have been signed, and we have exciting retailers coming,’ she said. ‘They’re in there fitting out now. Surfit will be in there in a couple of weeks. They’ve got pop-up classes in the next week. The gym upstairs will open in early July. And there are other retailers that will open over the next weeks and months.’
EPIQ Marketplace is part of Stage 5 of the EPIQ Lennox development, which is transforming this former farming area while trying to protect the environmental values of the central wetlands.
Opening in stages
Ms Murphy said that the first stage of the opening, tomorrow morning, is just for Woolworths and BWS, but ‘hopefully, in a few months time, when the restrictions ease, we’ll have a really big, grand opening for the community, with kids’ activities and jumping castles.’
Access for the new EPIQ Marketplace has been facilitated by the opening of the new Hutley Drive extension, 10 days ago.
Ms Murphy explained there will be 20 specialty shops in addition to Woolworths and BWS. These will include a chemist and a medical centre, as well as Phat Belly Asian Kitchen, The Source Bulk Foods and Cortado Espresso Bar. ‘They’re the guys who have been in the caravan at Skennars Head, so they’re local favourites!’
‘The engagement we’ve had from the community about this centre has been excellent. They’re most excited about having a brand-new Woolworths on their doorstep,’ said Ms Murphy.
She said the new EPIQ Marketplace includes a number of innovations, including an advanced grey water system and a massive solar installation on the roof, ‘which is powering the whole area.’
Lots of plants going in
Ms Murphy also said ‘The plants you can see have been strategically placed to help manage the wetlands here. There’s more information on our EPIQ Property Development page. That’s part of what we’ve done to be part of this beautiful corridor of life here.’
New Woolworths store manager Gus Plater looked surprisingly unstressed as he explained the massive task of stocking the new Woolworths, which is in readiness for the public opening tomorrow. He said the centre of the new store and the grocery aisles amounted to 240 pallets of stock, ‘which is about 10 full semi-trailers, 24-26 pallets per semi -trailer. It took us about three weeks to fill the centre of the store.
‘The produce side of the store including produce, meat, deli and bakery took the final three days.’
Are we open yet?
Mr Plater said the number one question from locals is ‘when are you opening?’ He says he grew up in Byron Bay and loves the Lennox area, having spent many summers at Lake Ainsworth.
He said the new store has been designed to be a very calm environment to shop. ‘It’s not overly stimulating, and then you’ve got the great fresh hall where you walk into, and the bakery has the latest stonebake range, where we do calzones and pizzas. There’s full production of bread and rolls as well.’
Another innovation is the drive-through pick-up area, which makes it possible for people to order their shopping from an app and pick it up without ever leaving their car. ‘It’s a free service, for only the cost of your groceries,’ said Mr Plater. ‘Just let the team know you’re on your way, and we’ll have the groceries ready for you.’
If you want to be part of the (socially distanced) rush to check out stage one of the new EPIQ Marketplace shopping centre, the opening kicks off at 8am tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
Photos David Lowe