Billionaire businessman Paul Lederer spent the day in Corrimal on Tuesday to speak to as many people as possible about what they would like to see in a new shopping centre he is planning to develop on the former Stockland’s site.
Mr Lederer wants to do a major redevelopment that will create more jobs and provide a better shopping experience at Lederer Corrimal after taking ownership in November.
So serious is he about giving the community what it wants he has visited a number of times to listen to suggestions for the prime retail site.
He has noted the wish-list for a Kmart, more fashion and parking and is taking everything on board.
He wants to get as much feedback as possible during December before deciding how Lederer Corrimal should be developed to provide the greatest shopping experience for the community.
“We only bought this centre recently so we want to look at all possibilities. All options are on the table,” he said.
“Over the next few months we will resolve what is possible. Obviously we want to listen to the people who live here because they are our customers. We want to know what they want”.
In response to the Kmart idea Mr Lederer said “we have already being talking about if that is possible and can we get it done. We are looking at the whole centre and looking at doing something significant”.
The Lederer Group owns other shopping centres at Richmond, Goulburn and Cessnock and presently has plans to transform another major site at Gosford.
Mr Lederer has been doing other business in the Illawarra for close to 40 years.
“I know the area and we love the area. I think there is big potential for the future here. Everything we do is for the long term,” he said.
Corrimal chamber president Paul Boutlwood welcomed the opportunity to speak to the Western Sydney Wanderers chairman.
He said it was great to have such a prominent businessman and his team so willing to invest in and listen to a community.
“They have lots of ideas and they want to hear the ideas because they want to do it right. And from a chamber perspective this is absolutely fantastic,” he said.
Mr Lederer did not rule out more investment in the Illawarra in the future but at this time he said he was focused on Corrimal.
“We look at all opportunities. We are looking at contributing more to the area. We are private enterprise people. We believe in making a dollar but we also believe in giving back to the community,” he said.
The Lederer Group appointed Wollongong born Oriana Bennett as the new centre manager after taking ownership.