No Ikea or Aldi for Cairns’ former Masters store

The Masters Home Improvement building in Cairns, taken just before it shut its doors for good. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
The Masters Home Improvement building in Cairns, taken just before it shut its doors for good. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

The fate of the abandoned Masters Home Improvement warehouse in Portsmith has finally been revealed — and what is planned will come as a surprise.

The 27,200sqm site has sat vacant since the Woolworths-owned hardware chain shut down in 2016, triggering heavy speculation about its potential redevelopment.

New plans lodged with Cairns Regional Council show the complex at the corner of Kenny and Draper streets will not be home to an Ikea or an Aldi.

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It has been short-listed by the Department of Human Services to be converted into a 6087sqm mega-office housing the city’s Centrelink, Medicare and child support services.

A new development application to Cairns Regional Council reveals plans to transform the 27,200sq m former Masters Home Improvement site at Draper St into a Department of Human Services mega-office, as well as an Amart furniture shop showroom and cafe. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Furniture store Amart is planning to move into a 4138sqm slice of the building, while a tiny 50sq m space has been set aside for a cafe.

The proposed Department of Human Services tenancy includes:

Large office floor plate of 6,087sq m gross floor area at ground level, plus existing mezzanine of 299sq m

Customer service centre to Draper St frontage

Extensive open plan back-of-house administration area with associated meeting and conference rooms

The new raised entrance to the proposed Department of Human Services mega-office. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Secure reception area, mail room, IT and store room

Dedicated staff rest areas, including screened outdoor area overlooking the car park

Various staff amenities including end-of trip areas and staff lockers

New double height feature entry statement with landscape elements at entry plaza

Expansive infill glazing to the Draper St frontage

Improvements to carparking, with repositioned accessible parking and dedicated pedestrian spine to Draper St

Additional 12 undercover secure car parks (including 1 accessible space)

New feature roof infill section with skylights for day-lighting above the former garden centre

Additional roof plant and services

The council is yet to decide on the proposal.

It is understood the Department of Human Services is in the final stages of committing to the project.

This article from the Cairns Post originally appeared as “Vacant Masters site’s future redevelopment revealed”.