Rebel Sport and Briscoes have both been vacated for newer sites on Vanguard St. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Spotlight on CBD post Covid

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Interest in Nelson central city commercial space is strong post-Covid-19, according to a local industry expert.

Colliers Nelson says they are experiencing “massive enquiry” from across the board commercially, with business sales and leases all going ahead.

“We’ve certainly had interest, there’s lots of people looking for different things. The phones are ringing, people are still looking,” says leasing and sales broker Debbie Cade.

She says while there has been an increase in people looking to continue working from home, others who have ‘been there, done that’ are wanting to return to the business district.

“It’s a very fluid time with people taking opportunities and considering dynamic shifts to their working lives and businesses, and that’s being reflected in the new post-Covid dialog.”

Bayleys Nelson’s Gill Ireland says they are still seeing a steady number of enquiries for city centre office space, too.

There have been a few shake-ups in the CBD, with United Video closing down and Starbucks permanently shutting its Trafalgar St store last Friday, after 15 years.

Charles Belcher, CEO of Starbucks New Zealand, told Nelson Weekly that seven employees will be impacted, with no current plans to reopen again in the region.

“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to close the Starbucks store in the Nelson region with our lease expiring.

“The decision in no way reflects the strong state of Starbucks business in New Zealand and our commitment to our long-term growth in the market.”

Debbie says they are working hard on finding tenants for the “iconic” site and there has already been interest from several parties.

Montgomery Square is also undergoing changes, with Rebel Sport and Briscoes vacating earlier this month to their new Vanguard St site.

The Weekly understands the ex-Rebel Sport site in Montgomery Square has been leased, however owner Gibbons Holdings did not respond to a request for comment.

The remaining section of the ex-Number One Shoes site has been leased to The Salvation Army who shifted their family store to town from Paru Paru Rd at the beginning of June.

Meanwhile, in Victory Square a cellphone repair shop will open next door to Liquid Laundromat on 1 July.

“While there are lots of changes, there’s also loads of opportunity for fresh ideas,” says Debbie. “We are all taking a positive position for the rest of 2020.”