STAGE ONE: Whitsunday Shopping Centre construction site.
STAGE ONE: Whitsunday Shopping Centre construction site. Jessica Lamb

What's happening at Whitsunday Shopping Centre?

IF YOU haven't already heard the clanging, the long-awaited stage one works for the Whitsunday Shopping Centre have begun and are expected to be completed by mid-August this year.

The centre's management company, Frank Knight's managing director Craig Stack said this stage alone will cost over $2.5 million and stage two is in very early stages of planning.

"We are looking at options to rebuild/add new tenancies in the existing space depending on tenant demand," he said.

While no new retailers have confirmed at this early stage, Mr Stack said Target Country have advised they are not interested in re-opening.

Mr Stack said Frank Knight would take into account community feedback when talking to potential retailers, which means the almost 1200 'likes' attached to an online petition to bring Kmart to the Whitsundays has not been ruled out.

Queensland business DMA Partners is the project manager for the development and Hutchinson Builders have the contract for the stage one works which has created 30 jobs.

Mr Stack said Hutchinson Builders have indicated they will be using at least two local sub-contractors.

"The builders are responsible for appointing contractors; we always encourage local business where feasible," he said.

Timing is yet to be determined for the start date of stage two.

Mr Stack said comparable year on year sales growth for speciality tenants is double digits as at April 2018 which was significantly above the national average," he said.

Out of the retailers affected by the April 2016 fire, Mr Stack said Westpac and CBA have entered new long-term leases.

Glambox Hair has returned to the centre in a new location outside Coles and the other retailers that have opened or expanded include Craka Dawn and Meze Kebabs.