C.H. Smith project is pushing on: developer

THE developer of Launceston's former C.H. Smith site insists a $30 million retail complex is pushing ahead despite 12 months with little signs of work on the ground.

Geelong-based developer Brile announced in 2011 that it would build a three- storey retail complex, made up of 20 food and retail outlets, on the site.

But grass growth appears to be the only physical change at the levelled site off Charles Street since the staged demolition of former buildings in 2012 and an archaeological dig that finished last March.

The company stated back then that 75 per cent of the tenancies had been filled, mostly by national chains, but has not yet announced the names of the businesses that will fill the complex.

Brile financial controller Peter Velt said yesterday that the project was now experiencing trouble securing tenants.

He said there were complexities in attaching a new building to the site's 1833 Charles Street facade.

"We've lost a few tenants and there are complexities in terms of integrating old buildings into new," Mr Velt said.

"We are a year behind schedule - I wanted to have it opened last December.

"I am working on it every day. I am in the office talking to people, or meeting people, about C.H. Smith every day.

"And it's costing money every day."

Electronics and entertainment chain JB Hi-Fi in 2012 had wanted to take up a 1200-square-metre tenancy in the complex, but late last year confirmed that it was looking at other Launceston locations.

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