High-rise South Central offers Grand Central 'alternative'

GOING UP: The multi-level South Central precinct will be located at the intersection of Ruthven and Perth Sts, South Toowoomba.
GOING UP: The multi-level South Central precinct will be located at the intersection of Ruthven and Perth Sts, South Toowoomba. Elouise Quinlivan

TOOWOOMBA developer Barry Bernoth is overseeing the final stages of a major redevelopment of the Bernoth Centre.

Works focus on a new medical and office building development.

Mr Bernoth hopes when combined with the seven-storey South Central precinct, the Bernoth Centre becomes the "alternative to Grand Central".

Builders are expected to complete the front section of 661 Ruthven St that was leased to the Australian Red Cross next week.

"We are expecting them to be operating before the end of the year," Mr Bernoth said.

"The rest of the building is still open to tenants.

"It's quite the upgrade to what felt like 'a big tin shed' at one point.

"The centre is modernising and we felt we had to go all in to bring it up."

While 661 Ruthven is not exclusively a medical centre, Mr Bernoth expects other medical professions to occupy the space, with the potential for aligned services such as a pharmacy.

The major refurbishment is worth about $5 million.

"We started Bernoths Electrical on the site of 663 Ruthven in 1974 with an acre of land," he said.

"A lot has happened since then.

"There is a good collaboration with the tenants we have here and with more accessible parking we are expecting shoppers to spend more time here."

Mr Bernoth said the Bernoth Centre had not seen such a redevelopment since the 1990s.

In a further expansion, Mr Bernoth is overseeing South Central, a multi-level retail and accommodation precinct at the intersection of Ruthven and Perth Sts.

He said he while timelines were not set in place, he expected "serious activity" by late next year.

"We will need to demolish a few buildings to accommodate the development, including Glennon House," he said.

"The people using the old motel are doing good work and we want to be able to leave them there as long as possible and give them time to relocate."

South Central should be completed by mid-2017.

Topics:  bernoth centre developers shopping toowoomba

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