HIGH-GROWTH AREA: The NewsMail has followed the development of the Johanna Blvd retail precinct from the start, including the construction of Bunnings’ new store, managed by Michael McLaughlin.
HIGH-GROWTH AREA: The NewsMail has followed the development of the Johanna Blvd retail precinct from the start, including the construction of Bunnings’ new store, managed by Michael McLaughlin.

We Were There - Bundy's changing retail landscape

THE Bundaberg retail landscape has changed markedly in the past couple of years, with major developments in Kepnock and on Johanna Blvd leading the way - and the NewsMail has been there to cover the progress and protests about all of them.

We were there when a residents' group in Kepnock raised its concerns back in 2011 of an application to build a new Masters superstore next to the Aldi in Kepnock, in a bid to take on fellow hardware giant Bunnings.

The group was opposed not to the store itself, but to its proposed location on prime residential land, which contravened the town plan.

The NewsMail brought you the story as the development went through council, was called in by the State Government and was eventually approved, despite a sustained fight by the local residents. Construction is now starting on the site.

And when the movers and the shakers in the retail industry began eyeing Johanna Blvd as the next big site for development, the NewsMail was there to take you through the process as it all unfolded.

It started with Bunnings revealing it would move from Takalvan St to a larger store on Johanna Blvd, and we took you on the journey from soil to cement, including an exclusive tour inside the store before it opened.

The interest in Johanna Blvd snowballed and, every time, the NewsMail was first to let you know was coming.

It wasn't long before Amart Sports opened across the road from Bunnings and, less than a month later, the NewsMail published a detailed map of the planned locations of Super Amart, Pillowtalk, Petbarn and Ray's Outdoors - all new retailers to the city.

We exclusively revealed children's cafe giant Chipmunks had its eyes on the area and Curtain Wonderland would move in beside Amart Sports. A new cafe was also approved to be built in front of new Pillowtalk and associated retailers.

With the remaining vacant sites continuing to fill quickly and more to come, we'll continue to bring you the latest in what's coming next to your community.

The NewsMail is always there to bring you the breaking stories and issues that mean something to our readers. Follow the last of our We Were There series tomorrow in print and online.



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