The development group working on Junction Place remains committed to Dan Murphy's occupying a key site on Wodonga's former railway corridor despite strong community opposition.
More than 100 residents tuned in for the opening feedback session conducted by Development Victoria on Wednesday night in response to the backlash to plans for the bottle shop on the Elgin Boulevard-Smythe Street corner block previously earmarked for a $70 million cinema and entertainment complex.
Corrie Warburton, the spokesperson for development group Central Place, said it still wanted Dan Murphy's on the site.
"They did put a very strong proposal to us," she said.
"We understand it is liquor and is an 18 (years) plus product they provide.
"But they do attract people to the precinct, they do have good policies in place and we are attempting to attract other retailers as well, both big and small.
"We're committed that Dan Murphy's will be the right fit and it is part of the bigger picture."
But, opponent of the bottle shop, former Wodonga Council director Michael Gobel, described the session as a Development Victoria "sell job".
"What Junction Place does not need is a Dan Murphy's as a corner stone development," he said.
"The developer needs the community to get behind the developer and the best way to do this is for the developer to act in good faith and withdraw its application.
"The developer is hearing but not listening.
"The developer on multiple occasions referred to the strength of Dan Murphy's proposal but what about the unprecedented strength of community opposition?"
As part of its pitch to come to Junction Place, Ms Warburton said Dan Murphy's wanted to connect with the community and offered to stock products from local wineries.
"In the COVID environment when cellar doors have been closed that could be a great opportunity for the Rutherglen, Beechworth, King Valley regions," she said.
The revised Junction Place master plan including the retail precinct incorporating Dan Murphy's is expected to be presented to Wodonga Council before the end of the year.
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