Construction for a $50 million waterfront shopping centre on the Isle of Capri in the Gold Coast has begun.

The project, which is to be known as ‘Capri on Via Roma’ when completed, is being led by the Harvey family and Hutchinson Builders.

Orca Partners development director Duncan Bull said the development is in response to what the consumers in the area are demanding for.

“Our location and the scale of our site have allowed us to very confidently provide for a broad retail mix that will ensure  Capri on Via Roma is a highly desirable location for commodity style shopping, experienced based shopping and as importantly, social interaction,“ he said.

“We are creating a destination that has all the benefits and convenience of a modern shopping centre, while preserving the charm and intimacy of a classic village experience,”

Designed by architect Steve McCracken, the Capri on Via Roma will comprise 31 retail businesses over 4,200 square metres in a village-style marketplace.  Tenants will include waterfront restaurants, cafes, fresh food and artisan providores, a small supermarket, as well as fashion, beauty and lifestyle outlets.

The centre will feature a further 16 commercial tenancies over 2,700 square metres available for medical, legal and other professional service providers. The retailers will be a mix of local and interstate businesses.

“We are in the fastest growing city in Australia, with a very central and desirable location, the challenge for us now is to partner with the very best retailers in each category. Our buildings have been designed to offer maximum flexibility in response to retailer requirements,” Bull said.

The centre is scheduled to open mid-2012.