Rather than being an empty shell in the middle of Kiama’s town centre while it awaits its new fate, Council has agreed to lease the Mitre 10 building to a small business incubator run by Emily Gough.
Emily has run the Pop-Up Co-Op in Collins St along similar lines for almost 18 months. The idea facilitates the subletting of space to small businesses who collectively work together to operate the retail space and grow their businesses.
“My goal is to give these people a step in-between operating a market stall and establishing their own shop or website,” she says. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from Collins St about the concept.”
She sees it as an opportunity to add more life to the street during the period before the redevelopment that is to happen now the building has sold.
“This size shop in a location like this comes up so rarely,” Emily says. “It is just perfect.”
The lease is expected to begin on 1 October, with a grand opening of The Collective Kiama, being planned for 8 October.
There is room for thirty-two small businesses, ranging in size from 3x3m to 2x2m, and half those spots have been reserved already.
The Collins St site will continue to operate until the end of the year.
The Terralong St space will be available until the building’s buyer has its DA approved and the sale is completed.
It will be open 9-5, seven days.