HIGH-profile businessman Gerry Harvey has assured Sunshine Coast shoppers that parking will be free at his new Maroochydore Home Maker Centre, which opens early next month.
His assurance follows concerns that customers would have to pay to park at the massive new centre.
"I think you'd be a brave man to open up a centre on the Sunshine Coast and have paid parking," Mr Harvey said yesterday
The centre will "centralise" his two local signature Harvey Norman stores into the one location, along with Domayne, Joyce Mayne and Big Buys outlets.
Nick Scali, Plush lounge specialists, Rugs a Million, Sleepy's, Dollar Tree, Global Living and two coffee shops have been secured for the site.
Mr Harvey said the 33,000sqm centre was close to the biggest in his stable of stores.
"We've been working on this shop for eight or nine years," he said. "It should be a welcome addition to the Sunshine Coast."
The centre has 901 car-parking spaces, and could bring considerably more traffic to the central Maroochydore retail area.
Local residents had mixed opinions as to whether the new centre would improve the parking shortages of the area.
Workers are busy applying the finishes touches inside the building.
The internal arcade on the ground floor level is the length of two rugby fields with room to spare, and was about the same length as the par-four 18th hole at the
adjacent Horton Park golf course.
The building incorporates sustainable building concepts such as energy-efficient air-conditioning and lighting systems, rainwater harvesting, solar-shading and energy-efficient initiatives.
The centre is set to open on November 12, two months behind schedule due to the rain earlier in the year.