A PROMOTIONAL video highlighting a modern, upmarket view of the proposed $20 million development of Maroochydore's Big Top has been released.

Set to the song Don't Forget to Smile, by popular Sunshine Coast artist Sahara Beck, the video taps firmly into the Big Top Market Fresh theme with fresh food, a fresh feel and and fresh faces - a far cry from the tired old centre Maroochydore residents have become accustomed to.

The $20 million redevelopment is set to put the lifeblood back into the heart of the Maroochydore business district.

The Big Top  will be transformed into a modern all-weather, fresh food marketplace.

Work on the development will start in June and finish about Easter next year.

Reed Property Group managing director Ken Reed said the new Big Top would combine the convenience of one of the region's largest supermarkets with specialty shops and more than 100 stalls from local producers on designated market days.

Initial plans are for two farmers' markets to run each week, and a night artisan market spilling out into Ocean St.

A promotional shot for the new Big Top development.
A promotional shot for the new Big Top development.

Mr Reed said the revitalised Big Top would be a key factor in positioning the city heart as a place where residents, workers and tourists could buy fresh produce with a true local flavour. .

Covering 10,000sq m, the distinctive Big Top skyline of tent-like structures will be retained but dramatically updated.

The first stage of the redevelopment will include replacing the existing "sails", which have caused concerns for tenants and shoppers during extreme rain.

"We know the roof has been a major issue and this is the first thing we will address," Mr Reed said.

"Once this is in place, we will begin the internal refurbishment which will include a wet area for a butcher, fishmonger, deli and dairy area as well as dry markets for fresh fruit and vegetables."

A core section of the centre will remain open for business during the refurbishment.

Maroochy Chamber of Commerce president Ross Hepworth said the precinct always had been "a people area" and a project such as this was needed to attract residents and visitors back there.

"It is the view of the chamber's members that Maroochydore is the capital of the Sunshine Coast and we are delighted to see the old

heart, Ocean St, get some life because it has been overlooked in recent years,'' he said.

"In the overall plan for the Principal Regional Activity Centre, this is an ideal space for an entertainment precinct.

"It is great to see artisan markets. It will make it a version of West End. Fabulous.''

Mr Hepworth said it would be timely to introduce a more pedestrian-friendly way of linking the Big Top and Sunshine Plaza.

Chamber committee member Dustin Welch remembers going to his grandfather's jeweller's shop at the Big Top in the '80s.

"It transformed the area back then and we expect that it will transform the region once again,'' he said.

"What's really significant is it will re-engage 50% of Ocean St, which over recent years hasn't lived up to its capability.

"The best thing about Big Top is it will support the PRAC rather than compete head-on with it.

"It provides a point of difference. Often when there are new areas for growth, particularly in a CBD, the former origins are forgotten.

"But this project looks to bring it back to its former glory.''

The Big Top was redeveloped in 1986 by Christopher Skase's Qintex development group on what was originally Butt's Shopping Centre.

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