INTERIOR: An artist’s impression of how the interior could be refurbished.MYER may close its doors in January next year, but it has opened an opportunity set to transform one of Orange’s prime commercial areas.

Orange City Centre owners Alceon and CPRAM Investments have already lodged a development application with Orange City Council to divide the Myer space into a smaller department store, which will be home to Harris Scarfe, a mini major retail tenancy and an estimated 15 specialty shops, including three on the upper floor.

Four stores will front Summer Street where a mall access to the rest of the centre will also be created, while two speciality shops will have access to Post Office Lane, but the addition of outdoor dining will depend on whether food and drink premises move into the building.

The existing Summer Street facade will be retained.

Should council approve the plans, work would start in April next year to accommodate new tenants and completion would be expected in June 2018.

The rest of Orange City Centre would continue to trade during the construction period.

The building was constructed between 1860 and 1870 and traded under a number of names, including the Western Stores and Edgely’s Limited and Grace Bros.

Centre manager Nicole Chapman said the proposal would add to the building’s history as it evolved from a single-tenant premises to multiple tenancies.

“We believe that if the development application is approved, it will allow us to create an exciting new meeting place for the residents of Orange and commence a new chapter in the retailing history of the building,” she said.

Alceon and CPRAM Investments spokesman Olivier Sicouri said from a nostalgic point of view, it was disappointing to see Myer leave, but it was exciting to bring the project to life.

“And to further strengthen the amenity and appeal of the Orange CBD,” he said.

Harris Scarfe chief executive officer Graham Dean said Orange formed a key part the company’s expansion in NSW.

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