Developer spends $6.3m for gateway Northern Rivers site

The proposed centre will contain tenancies up to 1800 square metres.
A c900 square metre arcade, expected to accommodate food trucks.

Melbourne developer Cadre, established by Chris and Nick Tyas, has snared a gateway Northern Rivers site with plans for a $70 million large format retail project.

The 3.42 hectare tract, 21 Through Street, South Grafton, about 80 kilometres north of Coffs Harbour, is setting the group back $6.33 million including GST.

The proposed development, the Grafton Lifestyle Centre, is expected to cost $25.3m to build.

The South Grafton block cost Cadre $6.3 million.

With 11 retail tenancies – between 875-1800 sqm – including two fast food stores (totaling 603 sqm), it would trade between 6am-10pm.

About half this area has already been pre-committed to businesses including Carls Jnr and Total Tools, the developer said.

Chemist Warehouse owners recently bought a Grafton property (outlined) neighbouring one the business occupies.

A 1534 sqm childcare centre is also planned, to operate between 6:30am and 6:30pm.

A local artist will also be appointed to create a c80 sqm mural, at a cost of $25,000, around a c900 sqm arcade connecting the structures – where it is hoped food trucks will set up.

The project – opposite Grafton train station – will contain 351 car parks and 12 electric vehicle charging stations too.

Dougherty Property’s Derek Morgan was the agent.

The application comes 13 months since we reported Chemist Warehouse executives outlaid $4.1m for 45-49 Prince St, in Grafton’s retail heart, it is speculated with plans to occupy longer-term.

Grafton Lifestyle Centre

Beside the Clarence River, on the southern approach of the new Grafton Bridge, the Through St block is surrounded by industrial and bulky goods retail; Anytime Fitness, Autobarn, BP, Bunnings, Caltex, Hungry Jack’s, McDonald’s, Subway and Toyota are amongst the neighbours (story continues below).

The Supercheap Auto (outlined) opposite 21 Through Street sold in 2022.

A Supercheap Auto occupied property on 2174 sqm next door (19 Through Rd) traded in late 2022 or $4.2m – a 5.5pc yield.

“Cadre saw an opportunity to add other national brands to the mix and has already secured approximately 50pc of the space with pre-committed national tenants,” Nick Tyas, said.

“The group is in advanced conversations with a variety of businesses spanning lifestyle products, sporting goods, medical, childcare and food and beverage including food trucks,” he added.

“We have been working with senior members at council who have been instrumental in the design rationale, assisting us in pushing the traditional ways of thinking about user experience, urban design, landscaping and impact driven initiatives,” according to the executive.

Cadre has appointed Melbourne architect firm Bruce Henderson to pen the project to create “something beyond a big box retail building you might find in areas like Coffs Harbour, Ballina or Tweed Heads”.

“Being a gateway site, we knew we had to work with a team we know and trust, who could see our vision through,” Nick said.

“This team will bring international design with local flora and fauna to soften the design and complement the local heritage and urban context,” he added.

“The result is an out of the box large format retail design which suns bright colours, dominant signage and bare concreate walls in favour of steel members which give the nod to the old Grafton Bridge, public art and dense local planting and vertical gardens,” according to the executive.

Recycled materials will be used in construction. The development will also add Jacaranda trees. Upon completion it is expected to be worth c$70m.

Cadre’s development pipeline – the majority completed through the family’s Tycorp Construction – includes projects in Victoria and Tasmania.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of