Shopping centre ‘back to normal’ after huge fire
ROCHEDALE Shopping Village has officially reopened more than one year after it was gutted by fire in an alleged arson attack.
On September 18, 2017 the centre was forced to close one wing after a fire broke out in the Lahore Grill Restaurant.
Last Saturday, it was welcomed back by the community at the centre's official relaunch party.
In total, 14 businesses were affected and centre manager Carmelo Trimarchi said the fire placed "a lot of emotional stress" on small businesses.
"It took close to 12 months of trading," he said.
"It disrupted business and created a lot of anxiety for our traders. It's great to see tenants trading and that their concerns and the wait and uncertainty is gone."
All businesses, except for Lifeline and Lahore Grill, have returned to the centre with new tenants Hello World and Hygge Hair moving in.
Police charged a 27-year-old man from Kuraby in relation to the alleged arson and he will next appear in Beenleigh Magistrates Court December 13.
Senior constable Laurie Catterson from Rochedale South police was one of the officers who attended the day.
She said it was great to see many people from the community returning to support the centre.
"The impact of the fire has been felt across the community and it's great to see so many people turn out to support local business," senior constable Catterson said.
Mr Trimarchi said the centre plans to hold two more events before Christmas to help spread the word that the centre is "back to normal".