New Farmers store for Rangiora
National retail chain Farmers will develop a new store in earthquake-damaged Rangiora.
A settlement for the development with site owner Mandeville Properties follows a drawn-out insurance claim, Farmers said.
Demolition of Farmers' existing building is expected to begin soon, and the new store is expected to open in early 2016.
Farmers chief financial officer Michael Power said demolition of the building would enable the Waimakariri District Council to remove the site fences.
The community has found the fences to be disruptive to the streetscape in the centre of the town.
"Businesspeople in Rangiora will be delighted as this will bring some normality back to the CBD," Power said.
"Mandeville Properties is a local business and it has worked extremely hard to retain a department store in the town."
Now that key aspects of the heads of agreement had been agreed, the parties expected construction to begin next January, he said.
Waimakariri District Mayor David Ayers said the construction would be positive for the town.
"The rebuild and return of Farmers to its existing site is crucial to the revival of the central retail area, and the council has been working with Mandeville Properties and Farmers to achieve that," he said.
"Along with the strengthening of existing buildings and other new shops currently being designed, Rangiora is going to come back better than ever.
"It is going to be exciting to watch the new Farmers and the specialty shops rise over the next 18 months or so."
Farmers created a gap in Christchurch's Eastgate Shopping Centre when it exited a lease after the 2011 quakes.
The Rangiora building suffered extensive damage in successive quakes.
The new store will cover about 5900 square metres and will include up to five speciality shops.
Rangiora is the largest town in North Canterbury and has a population of about 16,000.
- The Press