Re­de­vel­op­ment to restart next week, with com­ple­tion due by Easter


AFTER 16 months, work on Cham­pion’s Supa IGA will con­tinue.

With the tragic pass­ing of the pre­vi­ous builder, IGA staff — and our com­mu­nity — were left in limbo as work was put on hold for more than a year.

While a carpark and ba­sic struc­ture were com­pleted, works re­mained on hold as the struc­tural in­tegrity was as­sessed and ten­der was opened to an­other builder.

How­ever Cham­pion’s IGA said on Fri­day work is sched­uled to be­gin on Septem­ber 24.

‘‘The suc­cess­ful ten­derer is In­situ Group of Clifton Hill, Mel­bourne who have a re­gional branch in Bendigo,’’ prin­ci­pals’ rep­re­sen­ta­tive Joe Zurek said.

‘‘The com­pany is ex­pe­ri­enced in the re­de­vel­op­ment and re­fur­bish­ment of su­per­mar­kets. The re­de­vel­op­ment is ex­pected to be com­pleted be­fore Easter 2019.’’

Cham­pion’s IGA es­ti­mated that after the com­ple­tion of build­ing and the fi­nal fitout of the store, it would be open to the pub­lic in May.

Store man­ager Gerry Pick­ett said she and other staff at the store were lost for words after the an­nounce­ment.

‘‘I can’t be more ex­cited. It was an un­for­tu­nate cir­cum­stance which noone was ex­pect­ing and sad­dened us all,’’ she said.

‘‘This de­lay hasn’t been easy on any­one — staff or cus­tomers — and it will be a big job mov­ing the stock across to the new area.’’

Prod­ucts will be moved to the new build­ing ex­ten­sion while work is be­ing com­pleted on the ex­ist­ing struc­ture.

‘‘The first stage of the build will be com­plet­ing the rear carpark and load­ing dock,’’ Gerry said.

It is un­der­stood works will then be­gin on the main build­ing, some­thing Gerry said will mod­ernise the store.

‘‘The peo­ple of Heath­cote de­serve to shop in a re­mark­able su­per­mar­ket. We’ll have a larger range and more space for prod­ucts,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be some­thing a bit out of the box for Heath­cote.’’

Cham­pion’s IGA es­ti­mated the su­per­mar­ket will em­ploy an ad­di­tional 20-30 staff.

‘‘We ap­pre­ci­ate that the in­ter­rup­tion of the de­vel­op­ment has caused sig­nif­i­cant in­con­ve­nience to Heath­cote res­i­dents and par­tic­u­larly to the staff of Cham­pi­ons who have en­dured a dif­fi­cult work en­vi­ron­ment,’’ Mr Zurek said.

‘‘We look for­ward to the com­ple­tion of the build and are con­fi­dent Heath­cote res­i­dents will be proud of what will be a com­pletely new ex­tended su­per­mar­ket.’’

Gerry Pick­ett, An­gela Free­man, Tay­lor Bigham and Brodie Red­din-Jowett stand in the con­struc­tion zone that has been the IGA for the past 16 months.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of how the su­per­mar­ket will look.

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