Work starts on Kmart store
Australian chain Kmart has confirmed reports made in December that it will set up in Richmond.
The store will be built on the former Placemakers on Queen St, with construction begun by Gibbons Holding this week.
The building is estimated to be finished in November.
Kmart New Zealand manager Sue Smith said the company chose the site after careful research because it would be near Richmond Mall.
‘‘The closest Kmart store is in Christchurch, so we’re very pleased and excited to bring our irresistibly low prices closer to the Nelson and Tasman communities,’’ she said.
Gibbons Holdings managing director Scott Gibbons said the Queen St site was a long-term project.
‘‘We have been working on the development of this site for some time and it was very important for us to secure a reputable anchor tenant and complement their business with suitable retail partners,’’ he said.
Mr Gibbons said Kmart would take up about 50 per cent of the site and other businesses would fill in the remaining space.
The company planned to use multiple Nelson subcontractors to finish the job. Mr Gibbons expected the Queen St project to employ a workforce well in ‘‘in excess of 100’’ tradesmen this year.
He said he would focus on employing local contractors when and where he could, and was beginning to seek out workers now.