Growth spurs Farmlands development

21:42, Jul 24 2014
NEW BUILD: The new Farmlands Blenheim building is expected to be completed by March 2015.

Earthquake damage and a booming business has driven Farmlands Blenheim to break ground on a new building at Westwood Ave.

Robinson Construction owner and property developer Phil Robinson said work would start on the new building, located next to Pak 'n Save, next month. It was expected to be completed by March 2015.

Farmlands Blenheim would move from the corner of Kinross and Redwood streets, where they have been for five years.

MAKING THE MOVE: Farmlands managers Susan Pope, and George Millar and Construction owner and property developer Phil Robinson have teamed up to build Farmlands new purpose-built building at Westwood Ave.

In April, the Express reported hundreds of cherry trees had been chopped down at Westwood Ave to make way for a new business.

Blenheim-based Farmlands Tasman/North Canterbury regional manager George Millar said they have seen "fantastic growth" since moving the business from Main St 10 years ago and they needed a larger building to cater for that.

"The growth in business from the shop has been a testament to the great economy and the sheep and beef sector over the last three to four years.


"It's no secret we got quake damage from the earthquakes so it's nice to be going to a nice new building."

They have had to store some stock off-site at Riverlands for the past 24 months because of lack of storage at their existing site, he said.

‘The new building would have a bulk storage area of about 490 square metres and a retail area of about 500 sq m. Their existing building has a bulk storage area of 120 sq m and a retail area of 370 sq m, respectively.

"So it's considerably bigger and this building we are going to get will be purpose-built," Millar said.

The building would also have offices and a boardroom, where industry groups could hold meetings, as well as a cafe, he said.

Farmlands Blenheim launched Farmland Horticulture earlier this year because of the increasing demand from the wine industry, he said.

They had 12 staff and would employ another salesperson when they made the move, Millar said.

Farmlands Blenheim leased their existing building from Smiths City, who leased the building from the Marlborough District Council.

The Express reported the council bought the Smith City building last month.

Marlborough District Council executive projects manager Jamie Lyall said it was up to Smiths City to decide what to do with the building when it becomes vacant in March.

Smiths City chief executive Rick Hellings said it was too early to make any decision on what to do with Farmlands building.