ORANGE has withstood losing several businesses in recent times, but rarely has a landholder been so prepared as yesterday when Myer announced its January departure.

Rumblings circulated for some months that the major department store might close and it seems the lead time was put to good use and a development application for the building’s redesign is already being considered.

The DA addresses a number of bugbears with the historic building – an access will be added to the rest of Orange City Centre, giving customers direct access rather than the current, somewhat unorthodox arrangement of having to walk through Myer first from Summer Street.

It also provides a solution to troubles with Post Office Lane.

Orange City Council has grappled for years with antisocial behaviour and the design’s potential to open the area up to alfresco dining provides the best solution yet to improving the situation.

While there are 50 more people in Orange who now face the uncertainty of the job market, Myer’s vacancy has already been addressed where other sites’ futures like Electrolux and Bunnings are still unclear.

But key to keeping Summer Street vibrant will be completing the work quickly and concerns have been raised about the mooted three-month gap between Myer’s departure and redevelopment work starting.

The more this can be minimised, the better the result will be.

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