New CBD development proposed

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A proposed 6000 square metre retail development in central Nelson, with Farmers as the anchor tenant, has been confirmed.

Nelson City Council discussed the proposal, including selling land in Wakatu Square for the “significant retail development”, on Tuesday and will take it to the community for its thoughts.

Windermere Holdings Ltd (WHL) is seeking to build a 6000m2 structure that would include a Farmers Trading Company store and other retail. WHL would also create car parking on adjoining council-owned land.

The development was reported in this week’s Nelson Weekly.

Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio says the development would create a city hub for shoppers and retailers, bringing more people into the CBD and fulfilling the vision of the Heart of Nelson Strategy.

“There’s something for everyone in this development, which is what makes it attractive for the community to consider. It would encourage more people to shop in the heart of the city and spend more time there, it positions the city centre as the premiere boutique shopping destination in the top of the South, and it paves the way for a possible shopping mall in the Trafalgar St space that Farmers would vacate.

“It’s an economic development opportunity that could change the face of the city. Council is in a position to lead the way on realising a longstanding vision to make strategic use of this land for the city’s future.”

Aldo says the council recognises the necessity of this significant development in the city centre by making this strategic land available.

“The council has signalled for decades that it wanted to see a major retail development in this location. WHL’s proposal for an anchor retailer in the heart of the city is very compelling.”

The structure would be built on the central area of the Square, over the two parking bays. WHL will develop new car parks on the remaining council-owned land between the Square and the Hunter Furniture building, with the aim to retain the same number of car parks with the new development as exists now. If, after a parking analysis is done and the same number replacement car parks won’t fit, Council proposes WHL pay financial compensation to fund replacement car parking close to the city centre. WHL would demolish the former Hunting and Fishing building.

Mayor Miccio says that early discussions about the idea with some leaders in the commercial sector were encouraging.

“The feedback has been strong and supportive. They believe the success of this proposal is critical for the long term health of Nelson’s retail sector.”

Uniquely Nelson manager Cathy Madigan says news of the complex is exciting for Nelson.

“It’s fantastic news that the city is welcoming a new retail development.  This will add choice and diversity to our already vibrant city.”

The development would change the current flow of buses and vehicles through Wakatu Square. WHL will be responsible for making all necessary applications for subdivision, resource and building consents and meeting all associated costs.

Residents can have their say on the full proposal. The special consultative procedure opens August 8 and closes at 5pm on September 9.