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Hopes high for South revival

Saturday, 9th September, 2017

The owner of the former South Pharmacy says there is plenty of interest in the now vacant shop. PICTURE: Emily Roberts The owner of the former South Pharmacy says there is plenty of interest in the now vacant shop. PICTURE: Emily Roberts

By Emily Roberts

Patton Street has the potential to be revitalised with the availability of the South Pharmacy store, according local business owners.

After the closure of the South Pharmacy, a number of Patton Street businesses have been struggling.

St James Mart Op Shop said they had seen a big decrease in sales, as people would often pop into their store after placing a script.

However, the owner of the pharmacy, Andrew Johnson said there has been a lot of interest in their store after they made the move to Broken Hill Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse, which is located at the Coles Complex.

“The last couple of weeks has been crazy, we didn’t realise how big of a job it would be (making the move),” he said.

“We’ve been busy at the new store. We will head out soon and clear out the items in the Patton Street store.

“We will be talking with a real estate agent about our options.

“We’ve had some queries from artists and other people interested in the space.

“We aim to get someone in there sooner rather than later.”

Mr Johnson said they did their best to ensure the street wouldn’t suffer from their loss.

“We took pains to do whatever we could to ensure people didn’t suffer,” he said.

“People can drop their scripts to the Post Office or the Medical Centre and we will deliver them back to their houses.

“That is an option for people, we haven’t had that many people do that.

“We’re not sure if people prefer to go to the new store or not.”

Mr Johnson said the shop was a good space and had potential.

“We have been surprised by the interest in the Patton Street shop, it’s a good shop.

“It’s been fitted out and has a lot going for it. The shop has reverse cycle air conditioning and it is well set up.

“It has potential to be an art gallery or a tourist site.

“We have an artist who would like to also hold classes out the back.”

He said the opportunity to set the street up as a tourist venue.

“Everyone goes to Bells’ Milk Bar and the more things to do at Patton Street, the better.

“If there is also a museum or art gallery, you can see the potential.

“There has been movement away from small retail strips, like Oxide Street and Duff Street.

“It is a pity, but you have to give people what they want.”

Treasurer of the Patton Village committee and owner of Bell’s Milk Bar, Jason King, said now was the time to focus on tourism in Patton Street.

“I think the tourism angle still holds water,” he said.

“But there is a great space available in the former pharmacy shop.

“And there are plans for the street with Wi-fi for the street and Patton Park.

“Council have committed to help develop the park.

“The street is being reinvented, I think any drop will only be temporary.

“The vibe is still good.”

Mr King said he hasn’t felt a dip in business.

“My business has a strong tourism focus, so I haven’t seen much difference at all.

“We get locals who come out for a treat and visitors to town.

“The challenge is we don’t have the passing trade from Coles, which changes the dynamic.

“Once Coles closed that was the writing on the wall for us.

“But the empty pharmacy store has a lot of potential - it is a good size, it is well maintained, it’s a matter of time before it gets snapped up.

“There is always something happening in the town, if we can develop the tourism side of Patton Street; the future will be bright.”

Anyone interested in the South Pharmacy store can contact Outback Pharmacies’ Jason on 0421 865 659 or Serena at CP Peoples on 8087 3326.

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