BIG plans for a two-stage shopping centre along Gin Gin's Mulgrave St are under review, with the development application currently before Bundaberg Regional Council.
Kolan/Perry Community Enterprises, trading as Gin Gin Community Bank/Bendigo Branch, is the company behind the potential development.
The proposal stretches across two blocks, 51 and 53 Mulgrave St, with the adjoining blocks snapped up in February this year after going up for sale last year.
Stage two of the development will include knocking down the former Uniting Church at 53 Mulgrave St, however the two church buildings will remain for community use during the first stage.
Newly appointed Gin Gin Chamber of Commerce president Denis Maddick says it will be a shame to see the church buildings go; however, he sees the merit in replacing them with new purpose-built structures.
"That a financial institution is willing to invest their own funds shows a lot of confidence in the town," he said.
"The town needs development, otherwise it just stagnates.
"Any sort of development is a boost for the economy."
Mr Maddick said off-street parking was seriously lacking in Mulgrave St and 29 car parks would benefit other businesses too.
"If we can keep some traffic off the street, it will bring in more customers," he said.
"We've got the streetscape at one end of the town and any development goes hand-in-hand to contribute to the public perception.
"Any competition is good for the town and good for the economy."
The first stage of the shopping centre proposal will include the construction of two buildings, each with three tenancies.
The proposal shows Bendigo Bank taking one shop and suggests an office and gym will occupy a further two spaces.
"It is anticipated that the remaining tenancies would be shops or food and drink outlets, but a range of retail and professional outlets could occupy the tenancies at a later date if they meet the requirements of accepted development," the application states.
If the development gets the green light, stage two would see the church buildings demolished to make way for a third new building with three additional tenancies as well as an external courtyard and nine more parking spaces.