Briscoes Group plans to close its central Lower Hutt Briscoes and Rebel Sport stores after its planned new bulk retail development in Petone opens.
The shop closures could be another blow for central Lower Hutt, where retailers in High St and Queens Drive have struggled in the face of strong competition from Queensgate Mall.
The company's lease on the two stores expires in May 2016 but it could move out before then, depending on when construction is completed on the former Colgate Palmolive factory site.
Briscoes bought the Petone property this year and the new development is expected to be built next year.
Meanwhile, agents are looking for new tenants for the two single-storey Lower Hutt shops which have a combined floor space of more than 4000 square metres.
The property is owned by a syndicate managed by Oamaru-based Anaro Investments.
Colliers International agent Tim Julian said the syndicate would consider proposals from tenants requiring different sized shops.
The shops are on the corner of Laings Rd and Queens Dr, a block from Westfield's Queensgate Mall and just south of the city's 400-space parking building. It is diagonally across from Hutt City Council's soon-to-be- strengthened Civic Administration Building, the Town Hall and Horticultural Hall, which the council plans to redevelop as an events centre.
The Briscoes and Rebel Sport stores were built in 2002 in the face of strong local protest against the demolition of the Methodist Church, which had stood on that corner for 75 years.
- The Dominion Post
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