Plans for athletes' village revealed
@devlincolle An Invercargill landlord has highlighted the potential to create an athletes' village in Glengarry - an idea community leaders say is good but are in no hurry to develop.
Auckland businessman David Altena is part owner of Shiva Properties Ltd and owns several properties in the city. He believes a complex in the Glengarry area would be ideal given its proximity to Stadium Southland.
A complex housing high-profile sportspeople could make a difference in the area, he said.
"It has the potential to lift and create business in Glengarry Shopping Centre."
He was proposing his properties on Yarrow St could be combined with nearby housing New Zealand properties to create the village.
However, his company could not do it alone and would need a financial backer, so he had been in contact with business and community leaders in the city.
But the idea, which had been met with enthusiasm, was not going anywhere in a hurry, he said.
He had been in contact with Invercargill City Mayor Tim Shadbolt, Invercargill City councillor and Glengarry Community Action Group facilitator Rebecca Amundsen, Invercargill city councillor Neil Boniface, Stadium Southland general manager Nigel Skelt, and the Invercargill Licensing Trust.
Ms Amundsen said the plans sounded great but would need financial backing, which she believed Mr Altena did not have yet.
The stadium and the velodrome would be a "force to be reckoned with" and in theory an athletes' village would be a great asset.
"An athletes' village would create a more positive image for Glengarry, which we have struggled to do in the past few years." Ms Amundsen said.
Mr Shadbolt said an athletes' village had been on the cards for a long time and he thought Mr Altena's concept was a good idea.
Mr Skelt said there was always an opportunity but it would take everyone working together to make it happen.
There had been a previous bid to create a village on the old Surrey Park School grounds, which failed, he said.
Sport Southland chief executive Brendon McDermott said the concept was good but there was no rush.
It would be good to have a village close to the stadium but financial backing would be needed.
Academy Southland was up and running and a village could potentially leverage off that opportunity, he said.
Licensing Trust general manager Greg Mulvey said Mr Altena should wait and see what sort of demand would be created from the new stadium.
He could see the merit in the idea but believed there would not be enough demand.
Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust chairman Acton Smith said the idea would have been viable before the Cambridge Velodrome was built but now it was not so necessary and could prove challenging.
The charitable trust could not help financially but that should not stop Mr Altena pursuing his idea, he said.
- The Southland Times