tasnewslafm header 2019

Launceston Kmart expansion


There's some concern for Launceston's CBD businesses after an expanded K-mart shopping complex was approved by council.

The multi-million dollar development will add 11 single tenancies on the building's ground floor by expanding into the south-western carpark.

It was unanimously passed at yesterday's Launceston City Council meeting which considered the development application - acknowledging some car spaces would be lost but content with the amount of parking still available. 

The city's peak business body is welcoming the project and the investment in the region.

Neil Grose from the Launceston Chamber of Commerce says it's merely a symptom of a changing economic landscape.

"It's not a case of being happy with it or not, it's a case of where the market is going. The fact that Kmart and those that own that complex are investing $10 million to expand what they're doing down there shows that market forces are indicating that's where the money will flow. So it's now up to those trading in the CBD and those that represent them - such as us - to work out what the key strategic plan is long-term," he said.

Mr Grose acknowledges some concerns for CBD businesses but says overall it's a good news story.

"It's almost a two-speed retail economy in Launceston at the moment. In the CBD, retail is going okay but there are a few empty shops. However, in areas around Launceston, Mowbray, Prospect, Kings Meadows, Invermay...those places seem to be really thriving," he said.

Image: Stan Zemanek