Kmart, Coles anchor tenants in new Mann Central

The site of the former Manns Centre, where it backed onto High Street. Picture: DAVID THORPE
The site of the former Manns Centre, where it backed onto High Street. Picture: DAVID THORPE

KMART and Coles will be anchor tenants of the $65 million Mann Central shopping centre in Wodonga.

Kmart will have direct frontage to Hovell Street and Elgin Boulevard.

As well as Kmart and a Coles supermarket, Mann Central will have 40 specialty shops.

And of the 650 car parking spaces, 450 will be undercover on the Hovell-South streets corner.

After years of speculation, the identity of the two major retailers — each part of Wesfarmers — has been confirmed in a brochure promoting the long-awaited project put together by Sydney-based agents Rook Salinger.

Coles will take the corner of High Street and Elgin Boulevard.

Project spokesman Stuart Gilchrist said last night Mann Central developers had been in talks with the two major tenants for a long time.

“We are in the process of finalising those discussions,” he said.

“We don’t see any major issues at this stage.

“It was something we wanted to keep in confidence until it was finally signed, but we also needed to get out and start talking to potential leasees.”

The project has entered the detailed design phase with a large team of consultants putting the final plan together.

Mr Gilchrist said Joss Construction was the front-runner to build the centre after recently completing site clearance works.

Work is expected to start this year with completion in 2016.

Mann Central is being promoted as a game-changer in Wodonga’s retail offering.

Latest research completed in October last year estimates up to 55 per cent of retail expenditure escapes Wodonga due to the historical poor retail choice in the city.

Wodonga also has the highest median weekly household income of any Victorian regional city estimated at $1075, slightly ahead of Albury on $1025.

Total retail spending for Wodonga’s immediate catchment area is projected to increase from $587 million last year to more than $990 million by 2026.

Kmart and Coles will take up 9200 of the 14,035 square metres of lettable space in the centre.

The future of Coles’ High Street supermarket after Mann Central opens is unclear.

Albury’s Kmart opened in 1985.