Big expansion plan gets nod

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 10:54 21/11/2012
Alastair Porter
GRANT BRYANT/Fairfax NZ
READY TO ACT: Remarkables Park director Alastair Porter at company headquarters in the Frankton town centre. In the background is land earmarked for the new Wakatipu High School site. Resource consent applications to double the Remarkables Park footprint will be filed by the end of the week.

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A plan change clearing the path for Frankton's Remarkables Park town centre to expand means applications for the retail centre to double in size will be filed this week.

Remarkables Park director Alastair Porter said Plan Change 34, which became active last Wednesday, opened the path for large scale expansion - and the company was acting quickly.

"We are able to double the size of the town centre now, and resource consent applications for that to happen will be filed ... by the end of the week," he said.

The town centre currently stands at 30,000 sqm, but over a four-part, staged expansion will increase to around 60,000 sqm.

Expansion would happen on a "when needed" approach, and was part of Remarkables Park's measured approach for expansion which complemented the Queenstown community, Mr Porter said.

"It has been our conscious philosophical approach in the past to develop in a way that is not in direct competition with Queenstown's downtown area, and that still firmly stands today. We take the approach that if downtown Queenstown is vibrant and busy, that is good for the entire Queenstown area and for us too, because it gives visitors greater options on where to go and what to do."

The expansion will mostly consist of large and medium format retail stores.

"Some national retailers who so far have no presence in Queenstown have already been signed, as well as others who have already have a presence downtown and are looking to have a second store in the Frankton town centre."

The expansion will primarily take place on the Queenstown Airport side of Hawthorne Dr, which leads to the current Remarkables Park town centre.

The physical location of different retail formats was also an important part of the overall approach Remarkables Park has taken with its sister company Shotover Park, which is developing an area near Glenda Drive for "super-size" retail.

"Queenstown has signalled a need for ‘super-sized' retailers such as Mitre 10 Mega and the Pak N Save supermarket . . . Mega stores like this would not be appropriate in the middle of a town centre development, so we have specifically tried to get an area set aside for this, which will be the Shotover Park area," Mr Porter said.

The company has also bought a large stake in two downtown Queenstown wharves to establish a jetboat ferry link between its Frankton operations and the resort's central business district.

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The ferry would be a catalyst for a boutique riverside development, planned for river flats on the banks of the Kawarau River. The village would contain retail outlets and bars and restaurants, which would be accessible by the ferry.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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