Talks fail to advance redevelopment plans for Caringbah Marketplace site

Seven years after Caringbah Marketplace closed, the high profile site remains vacant, with redevelopment plans stalled or possibly abandoned.

The building has been defaced by graffiti and the interior, when viewed through the glass doors at the dirty entrance, appears untouched.

The centre closed in July, 2012, with a Franklins supermarket one of the last tenants, and has been deserted since.

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Aldi bought the property in 2014, but engagement with Sutherland Shire Council since then about redevelopment has come to nothing.

In the meantime, Aldi has become a cornerstone of South Village at Kirrawee and will be a major tenant in Bay Central, the new Woolooware Bay shopping centre.

About a year ago, Aldi requested new talks with the council about the Caringbah site, but nothing eventuated.

Aldi is non-committal about its plans.

"We are always looking for opportunities to extend our store network and Caringbah is an area of interest for us," a spokeswoman told the Leader.

"However, there are no further updates at this time."

A council spokeswoman said there there had been "a number of discussions with Aldi over the last few years about their plans to develop the site".

"However, a development application has not yet been submitted to council for assessment," she said.

Caringbah Marketplace, with 23 speciality shops and a supermarket, was a major attraction when it opened 37 years ago, but the number of empty shops gradually increased in the 10 years before its closure and the sale of the property.

Aldi did not respond to questions about the graffiti on the building, suggesting the council be contacted.

The council spokeswoman said if graffiti on commercial property or utility assets was reported to the council, there were several steps that could be taken.

"If the graffiti is offensive and the area can be safely accessed, we will remove it," she said.

"All other graffiti is reported to the asset owner for their removal and council provides the owner a quote with a fee for service to remove the graffiti.

"Graffiti on utility assets is reported to the relevant agency for their attention and action."

The spokeswoman said the Australian Graffiti Register indicated there had been no reports to the council about the Aldi site over the past two years.

"This does not include reports that may have been made through the NSW Government's Service NSW Graffiti Hotline or NSW Police," she said.

After purchasing the property five years ago, Aldi proposed a development comprising 58 apartments above a shopping centre, linked by an air bridge to a multi-level car park on the council car park site.

Under the plans, one level of the car park would have been for Aldi customers and the remainder for public parking.

However, the council and Aldi could not reach agreement on the financial arrangements.

Residents in adjoining apartments also opposed the multi-storey car park proposal.