With the indefinite closure of North Wollongong Bunnings come January, local residents would love to see some kind of entertainment facility take its place. Bunnings has confirmed their lease will not be renewed in January 2023. A replacement has yet to be determined for the space. Read more: Howzat! Port Kembla bar to host festival for the love of cricket Woonona resident James said the new site should have a family focus. "I think something for the community, for the kids, like a skateboard park or big bike park," he said. Other people the Mercury spoke with agreed that there was a need for more family entertainment in the Illawarra. "There's a bit of a lack of entertainment in Wollongong at the moment so it would be nice to get some more families into the area," one man said. Boasting 27,320 square meters, another common suggestion for the large block on Gipps Street was that it be replaced with major retail like a Costco, Kmart of Ikea store. A Wollongong social worker said she would like to see the site utilised for social or affordable housing and also suggested it could be good for housing for teenagers coming out of foster care "with nowhere to go". Having operated for 27 years, the North Wollongong store is one of the oldest Bunnings in New South Wales. Whilst many residents told the Mercury they were excited to see something new take the space, Peter Cooke from Wollongong said the community would be at a loss without the beloved hardware store. Read more: Free music festival in Wollongong Botanic Garden to celebrate 50 years of The Con "It's a shame that they're going to close down because they've been there for several years and they're helping the local business community," he said. "[Bunnings is] pouring money back into the community." Another local community member agreed and wanted the store to stay, especially as they stocked a particular battery used to operate his diabetes testing kit. North Wollongong Bunnings last day of operation will be the January 26, 2023. Surrounding stores like Kembla Grange or Bellambi will be unaffected by the closure. We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on the Illawarra Mercury website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. Sign up for a subscription here.