Junction retail interest runs hot

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 12:58 24/06/2014

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Negotiations are "hot", with a number of prospective tenants poised to sign leases in a planned new large format retail centre, the Nelson Junction.

Colliers International in Nelson is leading the campaign to bring national brand-name retailers to the Nelson Junction, to be built next to Mitre 10 Mega in Annesbrook. Commercial broker Geoff Faulkner said the complex process of negotiating leases was progressing well and the project was "looking buoyant".

The large retail centre will eventually offer 30 stores from a variety of national clients, some of whom have not been seen in the region before. Faulkner declined to say who they might be out of concern that highly sensitive lease negotiations, each worth "hundreds of thousands of dollars" could be disrupted, but he confirmed they were stores that offered a mix of premium brands to "value-positioned brands".

He said the progress being made suggested that construction of the large building could begin by July next year, but the timing would be determined by how many leases were signed.

Tenders for construction of the building, that would be more than 30,000 square metres in floor area, were yet to be called.

"With a project like this you need to get a certain level of scale before beginning, but lease negotiations are progressing well and I have a high level of confidence it will be under way next year," he said.

Resource consent and the stage one building consent were already in place.

Nelson Junction would be the biggest large format retail centre in the upper South Island, with about 30 stores of various sizes arranged around central parking. The centre's developer and owner is AMP Capital Property Portfolio.

Faulkner said the retailers keen on having a presence in Nelson were attracted to the market size of the wider region, particularly growth in Richmond. He was adamant the development would not take anything from Nelson city's retail environment.

Independent market research reports showed the junction would create a community hub and shopping destination to serve about 95,000 people living in the immediate catchment, as well as visitors.

About 21,000 vehicles passed the site every day, Faulkner said when the plan was unveiled last year.

According to research completed by Marketview, in 2012 the catchment generated total retail spending of $1.07 billion, with spending forecast to increase to $1.3b in 2021.

Analysis showed even stronger growth in the furniture and flooring, and hardware and homeware sectors, at 4 per cent per year.

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The Nelson-Richmond area also suffered from "retail leakage" to centres such as Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, including the loss of an estimated 15 per cent [$156.8 million] of total spending, including more than $6m of furniture, flooring and appliances spending, Faulkner said.

FTC still wants to expand, p2

- The Nelson Mail

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