Confidence high in downtown Queenstown

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A major Queenstown CBD landlord and a tenant are both showing confidence in the future of prime retail sites.

Skyline Enterprises is close to applying for resource consent for a retail building on its plum undeveloped site on the corner of Marine Parade and Church Street, beside Eichardt’s Private Hotel.

“We’re talking to potential tenants because that affects the design before we put in for consent,” Skyline chief executive Jeff Staniland says.

Meanwhile, O’Connell’s Shopping Centre clothing shop Detour is moving to a prime Rees St store because of owner Mike Collins’ confidence in the resort’s future as a shopping destination.

Skyline’s proposed complex will be the first new one in the CBD since it put up a two-level, $3.5 million building on the high-profile Rees/Beach Sts corner.

That complex, replacing two buildings destroyed in a fire in 2007, came at the end of a flurry of construction work in the CBD. 

That work included the large Post Office Precinct, The Mountaineer and Church St complexes. 

Staniland says his company’s proceeding with Marine Pde plans because “it’s a site that’s worthy of development”, but says the pickup in local business helps.

“We’ve had some interest and we’re talking to people,” he says, Staniland confirms Skyline is also talking to the operators of Eichardt’s about taking upstairs space.

The Queenstown council recently granted licences for Skyline to occupy Church St road reserve for a verandah and posts and to occupy air space over both Church St and Marine Pde road reserve.

Jens Aggerholm, who’s operated the popular Aggy’s Shack fish & chips outlet on the Skyline site for almost 10 years, says he’ll look for another location. 

Aggerhom says he won’t be disappointed at having to shift because he’s been on a month-to-month lease since he started, like other operators on the site.

“We’ve had a good time, we’ve enjoyed about 1000 customers a week so we can’t complain.”

Collins, meanwhile, who’s moving into former Betty’s Liquor premises beside Michael Hill Jeweller, says it’s rare for such a prime site to come up.

“I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think that we’ve got good times coming.

“I can’t remember the last time I heard that word ‘recession’,” Collins tells Mountain Scene.

“I’ve got all the High Street brands and I needed a good location – you needed a GPS to find me in O’Connell’s.”