An artist’s impression of what the redeveloped Wakatu Square would have looked like. Photo: Supplied.

Wakatu Square plan shelved

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A proposal to redevelop Wakatu Square has been axed.

A special consultation was undertaken in April with the public relating to the sale of land for a high-quality retail development.

The proposed developer, Cephas Property Nelson Ltd, informed council that Farmers no longer wish to proceed as the key anchor tenant for the development.

Cephas property managing director Steve Baigent says it is disappointing that the proposal put forward will not proceed at this time.

“We appreciate the effort Nelson City Council has made in considering it, and they have shown they are committed to welcoming development in the city centre.”

Cephas Property was in advanced discussions with Farmers to be an anchor tenant, but Farmers have now halted negotiations.

Steve says, they are now advancing other options for their sites.

While the retail environment is changing rapidly, Farmers have confirmed to council their commitment to Nelson’s central city.

Farmer’s chief financial officer Michael Power says the store is an important part of the retail offering in Nelson.

“We are committed to remaining in Nelson to continue to provide the local community with the wide range of quality products that we offer.”

Mayor Rachel Reese says Cephas has a long history of delivering high-quality retail projects.

“NCC has appreciated Cephas’ open, forthright and trustworthy approach to the process and we share their disappointment that this specific development is no longer an option.”

Rachel says the proposal has shown that as a council they are willing to work proactively with the development community.

“While it is disappointing to all parties that this particular project is not proceeding, the process demonstrates that NCC is forward-looking and Nelson is open for business.”

She says council welcomes other potential partners to make contact at any time.