NEW LOOK: Ron McCarthy at the now-derelict Cooroy Motel site on Elm Street, where he is planning to build a shopping and residential precinct.
NEW LOOK: Ron McCarthy at the now-derelict Cooroy Motel site on Elm Street, where he is planning to build a shopping and residential precinct. Alan Lander

Motel site to be shopping precinct

NEW plans for Cooroy's ailing east side of the railway are to be put to Noosa council shortly.

Local developer Ron McCarthy, who recently bought the Cooroy Motel site, said he would like to build 6-8 shops on the motel site, ideally with access to and from Diamond Lane and Opal Street.

There would be residential opportunities above the shops in the two-storey height limit, Mr McCarthy said.

The former owners of the motel are still clearing chattels including caravans for the now fenced-off site, and Mr McCarthy is due to meet council for a pre-lodgement discussion in the near future.

He's optimistic about the possibilities, and retains his vision of the Elm Street stretch as being the "Gateway to Noosa”, attracting southern motoring visitors through Cooroy to Noosa rather than through Eumundi.

But he said he was well aware of the challenges, which included parking and landscaping for the site, also traffic access and egress issues associated with Elm Street and surrounding streets - and the need to ensure it reflects the intent of the new Town Plan due next year.

"Elm Street carries 15,000 cars a day, and parking is at a premium in Cooroy as it is,” he said.

"But access through the [Diamond] laneway could potentially provide a crossover connection.”

That could depend upon potentially working with the new owners of the former Energex site and the sports hub land, should they have future development plans.

Cooroy Area Residents Association president Rod Ritchie said the building of shops in the motel site between the service stations would be a good move as a first step to developing the near east side of the town.

"It has the potential to start things moving on more activity on Cooroy's east side, with the right shops relieving parking pressure on the CBD,” Mr Ritchie said.

He said he had some doubts about Mr McCarthy's "gateway” vision, given the first signage for Noosa Heads on the Bruce Highway northbound was at the Eumundi exit.

"But Cooroy is changing; it's becoming more of a destination in itself,” he said.

Mr Ritchie said Mr McCarthy recently attended a CARA meeting and said he wanted to include a drive-through coffee shop in the plans, similar to one which operated in Noosaville until recently.


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