As the streetscaping in Queenstown CBD’s Upper Beach Street comes to an end, brace yourself for another construction project that’s due to kick off in March.

The building at 5-7 Beach St — split into three hospitality tenancies — will be demolished then replaced with a single-level, double-height structure that’ll house two tenants.

Local developer Ian Hamilton, who’s owned the building since 1992 and put its current frontage on in ’94/’95, says the timing of the project’s been dictated by the expiry of current leases in February.

He’s had in mind replacing the building for some time — ‘‘it’s getting pretty tired’’, he says, and was also slipping behind current standards and structural codes.

“Pretty tired”: Ian Hamilton’s current building, pegged for demolition

He considered developing a two-storey structure, which would have met height limits, but the problem was providing access to an upper floor.

‘‘You’ve got to get access to that top level, and it takes out a valuable bit of frontage.’’

Instead, his single-level build ing will have a maximum height of 6.75 metres which, Hamilton says, could allow for a mezzanine floor.

He considered providing just one tenancy, ‘‘but it’s a fairly big one which limits who can go in there, so two was the balance we struck’’.

In applying for resource consent, he sought approval for layout options for both retail and hospitality.

To date, he’s signed one high-end retailer.

He can’t reveal who it is, but they’re described as ‘‘a reputable watch and jewellery retailer with top luxury brands’’.

He’s now trying to secure, ideally, a second high-end retailer to complement the first one.

It would also, he says, align well with the newly-redeveloped O’Connells building opposite whose two main floors have been taken up by DFS Group’s high-end T Galleria store.

For his design, Hamilton again retained local JCY Architects’ Richard Chambers, who also designed his large Jucy Snooze building on the corner of Camp and Memorial Sts.

Chambers’ design employs Oamaru stone, substantial glass, steel detailing, double-height hardwood portals with vertical bladed louvre screens within the portals above the shopfront entries, and a steel and glass canopy.

Long-time landlord: Queenstown developer Ian Hamilton

The consent application states ‘‘the aesthetic of the building is timeless, simple and modern’’.

Chambers says ‘‘an overheight space for high-end retail is really good — they can do quite elaborate fitouts and stuff’’.

The roof slopes back four degrees.

‘‘It’s a highly-insulated roof — we’re trying to get a well-insulated building envelope so it doesn’t require too much energy to keep it warm.’’

Hamilton says three building companies are tendering for the contract.

It’s estimated the build, expected to be finished by the end of January, 2024, will cost $2.8 million.

‘‘It’s a bit scary the way costs are going up, but it’s a reasonably simple, straightforward build, there’s nothing too complex.

‘‘There’s a wee bit spent on the frontage, but the rest of it’s just a concrete block with a sloping roof.’’

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