Retailers are flocking to Dee Why’s new shopping centre with more than one-third of the 35 specialty shops in the 11,000 square metre (sqm) Grand Plaza being snapped up already.

Retail businesses, ranging from cafes and take-away food outlets to fashion stores and service providers, will join Coles (4111 sqm), Harris Farm Markets (1600 sqm)  and a liquor superstore (1300 sqm) and the Dee Why Hotel (1300 sqm) at the centre, which is scheduled to open in April 2010.

The 35 specialty shops range from 20 to 373 sqm and will surround a food court – the only one in Dee Why providing undercover dining.

“Interest is high in the plaza from local and national businesses due to the large population in the immediate catchment area and the retail spend available,” said Robin Brenchley, retail services leasing manager with Raine & Horne Commercial.

“Businesses view this new shopping centre as an opportunity to move into a high quality, virtually untapped retail market.”

The plaza is an integral part of the overall ‘Dee Why Grand’ development – a $260 million retail-residential-commercial-hotel complex on a massive 10,500sqm site bordered by Pittwater Road, Pacific Parade and Sturdee Parade.

“This is the first fully-integrated development on the Northern Beaches, and is destined to reinvigorate Dee Why’s retail district,” said Brenchley.

 “Currently Dee Why has just one small dated shopping centre and some strip shops. It lacks good quality retail space for tenants and no retail hub to attract the large number of local residents. But Dee Why Grand Plaza will change this.”

On top of the two-level retail section will be apartment residents as well as 6500 sqm of  ‘A’ grade office space spread over four levels for up to 500 workers.

“The integrated living environment provides a ‘captive market’ for retailers who can tap into the office workers in the commercial complex and the occupants of the residential apartments,” said Brenchley.