A NEW village hub at Mildura South will aim to offer an experience not yet available in Sunraysia − and be a place you’ll want to take visitors to.
Mildura councillors last month voted to approve the master plan for the Mildura South Neighbourhood Activity Centre, which will service a booming suburb about to be home to 2000 families.
It can now be revealed there are ambitious plans for a supermarket and commercial precinct at the corner of Sixteenth Street and Ontario Avenue.
John Irwin, one of the land co-owners for the Pinnacle Rise project, said the goal was to provide a point of difference for Mildura.
He intends for the supermarket to have a premium feel, taking inspiration from the likes of Hill Street Grocer in Hobart and Drakes on Adelaide’s Glen Osmond Road.
“You walk in and there’s a guy playing a grand piano − it’s upmarket,” he said.
“It is a bit more expensive but we’re mature enough as a society now that you’ll pay a bit more for the luxury of somewhere that is really nice.”
An outside fruit and vegetable market on the way in, supplied by small mum and dad growers, was intended to be another feature.
Mr Irwin said effort would be made to make the experience “above anything else” in the region.
“It’s like when you walk into these places, in front of you is the coffee lounge, coffee bar, music playing, you walk around the corner and there are cheeses, hams,” he said.
“Then there’s a wine tasting and then there will be a pop-up shop with someone who is a florist in town … and then someone who bakes cakes will be showing recipes.
“Every time you go in there, there will be something spontaneous.”
A car boot sale raising funds for a local charity each Sunday was another idea.
Across the village precinct more broadly, a medical precinct has future tenants ready and committed.
In terms of food, Mr Irwin said there was room for “say a Chinese restaurant, an Indian restaurant and an Aussie style maybe fast food takeaway”.
“Nash Lane, they want to be there and I’ve said ‘yep, love to have you in there’,” he said.
There will be parking for 155 cars.
Now that the master plan has been approved − a process that started back in 2014 − the next step is to do the subdivision.
“We’re going flat out now, that’s what we want to do,” Mr Irwin said.
“We’ll have all our plans done within six months and then we hand it to council.”
Mildura South could eventually be home to 10,000 residents.
Councillor Mark Eckel said future projections for facilities in Mildura South should also take into account growth in neighbouring Cabarita.
A new 40-lot subdivision is expected to take Cabarita’s population to 838.
Councillor said the Mildura South development would tie in well with the opening of the nearby Mildura Sporting Precinct.
“Although it’s taken some time, I think what has turned out is something that Mildura can be proud of,” he said.
“As I stand here and I look over to the sporting ground and see the lights over there – I stood on that ground some years ago and anticipated that was the opportunity to go south.
“Now we’re standing here and talking about development going into the future.”
While the wait has been long, Mr Irwin said it had been worthwhile now that other surrounding developments and the sports precinct were under way.
He said it also gave those behind the project a chance to think strategically about what they wanted.
“It’s something where if you’ve got visitors coming from out of town, you want to always take them somewhere which is exciting,” he said.
“What I have in my mind is to create something that in a few years’ time, I can look back and have a real sense of pride in what I’ve achieved.
“But the same thing is, the people of Sunraysia they can look at it with a sense of pride that they have something no other region in Australia has got.”
Work was already under way this week with the laying of pipes that will service the area’s new subdivisions − stretching to the Walnut Avenue side.
In terms of the Pinnacle Estate residential development, Mr Irwin said the first 22 blocks − in a section facing Ontario Avenue − had been sold.
ABOVE: One of the Pinnacle Rise land co-owners, John Irwin, left, at the development site with Mildura Rural City Councillor Mark Eckel.