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Husband-and-wife team behind indoor skatepark secure lease on old NightQuarter site

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The former NightQuarter site at Birtinya is set to become a six-days-a-week, family-friendly, all-inclusive entertainment precinct known as The Station.

Husband-and-wife team Chris and Lauren Hignett, who own Alley-Oops Indoor Skatepark in Birtinya, have secured a five-year lease on the site.

Stage one of The Station will include a concert venue, skatepark, retail shops, food truck precinct and bar area, and is set to open on March 1 next year.

The Hignetts had years of national and international corporate leadership experiences across a range of industries, before acquiring Alley-Oops as well as the Birtinya-based brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce sports store Scooter and Skate.

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Mr Hignett said he was confident The Station could become one of the region’s premier tourist attractions.

“Lauren and I are thrilled with this opportunity,” he said.

Lauren and Chris Hignett have secured the lease on the former NightQuarter.

“We have grand plans to amplify the experience on offer, which will include live music, food trucks and bars, a business and community hub, along with our Alley-Oops Skatepark and the Scooter and Skate retail outlet all in the one location.

“It’s such a great site and we know from regular feedback that local people have a strong affinity towards it. We also know from our experience operating Alley-Oops, as well as Scooter and Skate, that we’ll have hundreds of children and families come along and enjoy the skate park each week.

“We’re now working diligently on securing local food and beverage operators along with a range of musical performers and artists to ensure we can provide ongoing entertainment to bring in a regular stream of customers every week.

“We’re also buoyed by the feedback we have received from the broader community who loved their experience visiting the former precinct and want to see it reopen with a renewed push towards a greater variety of family friendly entertainment options.”

The 6400sqm site is part of Stockland’s $830 million masterplan for Birtinya and surrounded by commercial property. It is also adjacent to the proposed mass transit system to Maroochydore and potentially south to Caloundra.

The venue will focus on being all-inclusive.

The venue is currently restricted to 1200 people per night. However, a development application has been lodged with Sunshine Coast Council to accommodate 1200 patrons in the covered live music venue and up to 1000 customers in the food markets.

Centre manager Nhan Nguyen said Stockland Birtinya staff were excited that The Station was coming to the complex, offering the community a new skate park and a family-friendly mix of live entertainment and food vendors.

“The Station will be a great destination on the Sunshine Coast for locals and visitors looking for great food, music, and entertainment or to try out some flips and tricks at the skate park,” he said.

NightQuarter operated for two years before closing in November 2022. It was run by Food Focus Australia owners and husband-and-wife team Ian van der Woude and Michelle Christoe.

Related story: ‘Devastated’: popular live music venue closes

Mrs Hignett said the vision for The Station was to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone regardless of their interests, age or ability.

“We want The Station to be a playground for adults and kids alike, a place where people can be safe and enjoy themselves whether they’re skating, enjoying great local food or a drink or two while taking in live music, including big concerts, on either a Friday or Saturday night,” she said.

“I’ve got a particular focus on ensuring people with a disability can also come along and have a great time, and we’ll do this by being inclusive and catering to a diverse range of needs.”

She said the precinct would employ up to 50 casual and about 14 full-time staff when fully operational, and expressions of interest are currently open to those seeking employment, as well as musicians, artists and local food and beverage providers.

To find out more and to register your interest in employment or vendor opportunities visit thestationsc.com.au.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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