Door opens for Gateway project
GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Queenstown Gateway has had resource consent approved for a $125 million seven-building mega-mall, covering prime land at Queenstown's entrance and filling in the failed development known as Hendo's Hole.
The complex, to be known as Five Mile, will have a Countdown supermarket as an anchor tenant and incorporate retail, food and beverage outlets, visitor accommodation, childcare and office space.
The resource consent application, which was granted with conditions on Tuesday, includes approval for earthworks, infrastructure, parking and roading necessary to complete the 23,000 sqm project. One of the consent stipulations is that views of The Remarkables, Walter and Cecil Peaks and Kelvin Heights' Peninsula Hill, commonly known as Deer Park Heights, are not obstructed.
Tony Gapes bought the 7.8ha site for $11 million in late 2009, then under sister company Queenstown Central, bought stage two of the property, a 23.4 ha block for an undisclosed amount in June 2010.
Sellers Allied Farmers said an amount "well in excess" of the $23.3m valuation was paid.
The complex will cover the large, gaping excavation for a two-level underground car park left by developer David Henderson when his initial development on the site went into receivership in 2008. Since then the site has been nicknamed Hendo's Hole.
Mr Henderson had planned to build a 1200-space underground car park, with a large supermarket, retail centre and mix of worker accommodation and residential housing above.
Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Ann Lockhart said yesterday the development would provide a shot in the arm to the construction industry, but was wary of singing immediate praise for the project.
"On balance this development will provide a good boost to the local construction industry," she said. "However, we are not sure of what impact it will have on the existing Queenstown retail sector. The Lakes District population is one of the fastest growing populations in the country, but until we know how many retail stores will come on line when the development opens it will be hard to judge its impact."
Mr Gapes could not be reached yesterday but told Mountain Scene he had signed a construction contract with Naylor Love and hoped to be on site "construction-wise" in the next eight to 12 weeks.
He hoped the centre would be open to business by early 2014.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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