Mall owners say change on the way ... again

"We know it looks as though nothing has been happening but we're getting there." - Ganson Group property manager Andy Bell.
COLIN WILLIAMS/FAIRFAX NZ

"We know it looks as though nothing has been happening but we're getting there." - Ganson Group property manager Andy Bell.

Almost a year after plans for a development of Ashford Lane area, opposite The Mall, were made public much remains to be done.

The feature build, a $1.75 million site facing both Ashford Lane and the Main St, in Upper Hutt, is still under construction.

The work began last July and was planned to be completed before the end of last year.

A perspective on the proposed development of Ashford Lane, opposite The Mall in Upper Hutt.

A perspective on the proposed development of Ashford Lane, opposite The Mall in Upper Hutt.

Ganson Group property manager Andy Bell said the delays were the result of the building's final design resting on the number of retail tenancies which will to operate on the 615 square metre site.

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It had been hoped a "recognised national hospitality brand " was going to take the lease in full but this was now less than certain, Bell said.

The Mall entrance on Logan St, opposite Ashford Lane.

The Mall entrance on Logan St, opposite Ashford Lane.

"We know it looks as though nothing has been happening but we're getting there."

Meanwhile, the former Hazelwoods building, part of Ganson's 2.5 hectare commercial site, is set for a return to retailing.

The building has been used as New Zealand Defence Force offices for six years and was leased ahead of the Ganson taking ownership in 2012.

"We're actually thrilled about it." Bell said.

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"It's a prime spot. We will gut it and rebuild it and it will be part of the mix, taking us to about 20 new tenancies all up.

The "hard yakka" of working to attract a planned 10 tenancies for Ashford Lane was continuing, Bell said.

"We have spent a hell of a lot of time on tenancy procurement and now have several other potential tenants for this space and other spaces as well." Bell said.

These were likely to include food operators, giftware stores and furniture and liquor businesses. In terms of construction you'll see a lot happening shortly."

Work in the months ahead will also include building a pedestrian link from Ashford Lane to the car park near Lion Court and a covered pedestrian colonnade running from the Montery Cinema end of the lane to Logan St.

 - Stuff

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