BRIGHT FUTURE: Amy Rush and Rachel Hunt from The Hunted Concept in Ocean Street, Maroochdore.
BRIGHT FUTURE: Amy Rush and Rachel Hunt from The Hunted Concept in Ocean Street, Maroochdore. Warren Lynam

Ocean St set to be Maroochydore’s ‘grungy’ sister

WHEN the new Maroochydore city centre is built, the Ocean St precinct will become the Sunshine Coast’s West End or South Bank.

That’s according to Maroochydore Revitalisation Association’s Bronwyn Buksh, who says that far from being nervous about competition for customers, businesses in the Ocean St precinct are excited about the new city centre that’s under construction.

“As the CBD grows and develops its own identity as a place of commerce, it’ll facilitate a certain type of engagement for people — but our precinct will ... be more like a West End, or a South Bank of Brisbane,” she said.

“It’ll be a little bit grungier, it’ll have a range of activities, but the proximity and connectivity means that you can walk between the two.

“People will come and work and see big shows at the city, and they’ll be able to walk through and have a different style and experience here.”

Asked what the feeling among business owners in the area was toward the development across Aerodrome Rd, Ms Buksh said there was “definitely a level of excitement”.

“It will compliment what we have here,” she said.

“It’s an ecosystem. Without one thing the other won’t do as well.”

Some businesses within the Ocean St precinct may even end up with a base in both spaces, Ms Buksh said.

“It’s about succession planning for businesses,” she said.

“Some might start small in a grungy office or a smaller second tier office space here but as they grow they will need spaces and their cluster to move into. That’s what the CBD will also provide.”

Since the MRA launched in 2012 it has organised 31 events including the celebrated Nights on Ocean and seen more than 300,000 visitors attracted to area bounded by Ocean St, Duporth Ave and First Ave, Maroochydore.

More than 25 new businesses have opened in the precinct in the last two years, including fashion and lifestyle boutique The Hunted Concept – one of the first new retail businesses.

The Hunted Concept co-owner Amy Rush agreed the new Maroochydore city centre would see more foot traffic once it was complete.

This was important, she said, because many visitors to the Coast only went to beachside shopping strips such as Mooloolaba’s.

“We just loved Ocean St, we loved all the things that are happening in the area,” Ms Rush said.

“There’s really a strong vibe on the street by all of the businesses … everyone’s really excited about what the future holds.”