Rocky developer's bold move to ease business bill pain
RAVI Setu's father had a long-held dream of seeing a prime North Rockhampton spot be developed into a bustling commercial enterprise.
Although his dad, Ami, is no longer alive to see this dream come true, Ravi believes he would be proud to know the marketplace he had long believed was perfect for Moores Creek Rd will soon be reality.
The convenience store, marketplace and service station is set to transform a vacant section of the road near the Kerrigan St roundabout, after Rockhampton Regional Council gave it final approval in Tuesday's meeting after debate in previous committee meetings.
The approval follows long discussions between councillors about the benefit of the centre to an area of Rockhampton which already has many service stations.
Ravi was pleased with the approval, saying the council had been easy to work with and made the process of adjusting plans one which was mutually beneficial for all involved.
He's hopeful if things run smoothly construction could begin in about a year, with completion in early 2019.
Roxi's Marketplace will include a service station and several stores, including Ravi's own business of the same name.
That convenience store will be focused on featuring local products, with Ravi hoping to work with Rockhampton businesses, like butchers, florists and other producers, to stock their goods.
But for Ravi, the most exciting element of the development is the focus on sustainability.
Although it will add $200,000 on to the total bill, Ravi will be kitting out the stores with full solar power in a move he hopes could set a precedent for future retail precincts.
Ravis said independent evaluations of the plans concluded the move could reduce carbon emissions by 133 tonnes annually, the equivalent of planting 921 trees.
It won't just help the region's environmental footprint, with Ravi keen to make sure he supports businesses that take up tenancy in the centre.
"Hopefully it becomes a precedent for other developers,” he said.
"The last thing you want to do is be the landlord collecting rent and none of the shops are making money.
"It's not a huge extra cost, but overall I think it's a big benefit.
"I'd rather spend more money hiring staff than paying my power bill.
"It's a good outcome for the environment too.”
For Ravi, this big step forward in the development's future has mixed emotions as he remembers his father's wish to see the vacant lot developed.
Ravi's father died last year, but had been developing parts of Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast for four decades and always wished he could purchase the prime piece of land of Moores Creek Rd.
"He always liked that site for what I've got approval to do on it,” Ravi said.
It is expected the development will deliver 30-40 jobs to locals during the construction phase and about 100 jobs once complete.