Construction of a $100 million retail and hospitality town centre on Queenstown’s fast-exploding Frankton Flats starts late this year.
Auckland developer Queenstown Central Ltd last Friday gained resource consent for its proposed 4.7 hectare complex, opposite the Grant Road entrance to the Five Mile shopping centre.
Earthworks started this week.
Canterbury contractor March Construction, as ordered by the High Court, is removing stored fill from Five Mile’s original ‘Hendo’s Hole’ excavation.
Queenstown Central boss Simon Holloway expects the first stage to be completed by the end of next year or early 2018.
The first stage includes anchor tenant Kmart’s 4000 square metre department store and a ‘Main Street’ including quality fashion and retail stores.
Also approved is a ‘town square’, accessed by Main Street, which will be surrounded by a hospitality precinct including a tavern, restaurants and fast food joints.
In addition there’ll be a fresh food precinct by the Grant Rd entrance, including a boutique butchery and organic food offering.
Near the town square there’ll also be a five-storey, 124-room building which will go into either visitor or residential accommodation.
Despite adding another 20,000 square metres of retail alongside Five Mile and Remarkables Park, on the other side of the airport, which are both of similar size, Holloway doesn’t see Queenstown becoming over-shopped.
During the seven-year-long plan change debate over the zoning of Queenstown Central’s 22ha site, he says: “There was clear demographic evidence that with the growth of Queenstown, even over the next 15 years, there was still an under-supply of retail-zoned land.”
He notes there’s also been strong tenancy demand.
Evan Harris, of Colliers International’s Christchurch office, says more than 60 per cent of stage one has already been committed to, before marketing’s even started.
Holloway says the town centre should also appeal to residents living beyond Frankton who won’t need to come into the Queenstown CBD.
“Rather than Frankton Flats being just a place where you pick up your groceries, it’s a place to come and recreate and eat and shop.”
In a statement to Mountain Scene, Australasian retailer Kmart, which already has 19 stores in New Zealand, says it’s excited to set up shop in Queenstown.