Construction of the Harvey Norman Homemaker Centre in Ballina is due to begin soon.

Ballina Shire Council said tenders had been called and the successful contractor had been appointed.

“The development has encountered many months of delays due to legal action taken against Ballina Shire Council which has since been settled in council’s favour,” the council said.

“Earthworks on the site and the Boeing Avenue extension are well-advanced and the successful builder is expected to take possession of the site mid-September.

“The tenders, which included submissions from local builders, were very competitive and whilst prices were very close, the time for construction was the determining factor. Harvey Norman has selected Mainbrace Constructions as the successful contractor and they will move on site mid-September.”

Michael Shay, principal of LJ Hooker Ballina, assisting with the local leasing of the project, said: “The Harvey Norman-anchored development will provide for both national and local retailers.

“The size and range of tenants in the development when added to the many support traders already in the precinct will make this the dominant bulky goods precinct on this section of the coast.”

Ballina Shire Mayor Cr Phillip Silver said: “Council was pleased that all the barriers to the development have now been removed. Harvey Norman has been patient throughout this process and now the project can move forward.

“The development will establish Ballina’s position in the retail hierarchy and on completion will provide around 110 direct positions, both full-time and part-time. When the downstream jobs are taken into account it will inject around $5 million in wages into the community, giving a measurable boost to our local economy.

“The establishment of this precinct will attract expenditure currently escaping the area and is consistent with the Far North Coast Regional Strategy which identifies Ballina as an emerging regional centre.”