Rangiora's High Street developments taking shape
Local business owners are predicting Rangiora's High Street will be bustling by mid-2016, as several developments draw to a close.
Paper Plus, Toy World and Lotto outlet owner Andrew Beath said business had picked up for many since the completion of road works allowed the street to be reopened last year.
He said he thought continued development would only see this improve further.
"We're already seeing it, and I think it'll only get better, especially once Farmers is reopened ... I can only see good things coming out of it."
Beath said as long as contractors were able to meet their schedules his stores would merge into one in Conway Lane at the end of January.
This would also allow the relocatable buildings, currently up for sale with the Waimakariri District Council, to be moved from roads and clear some of the detours that had become the norm for shoppers.
Beath said the move would restore some of the stability he was never able to experience when he purchased the businesses about five years ago.
"I think it was about two weeks I had and then there were the earthquakes. [The area's development] can't happen fast enough really."
FARMERS BEFORE SPRING
The long-awaited Farmers store being built in High Street will be fully operational by August this year.
Farmers chief financial officer Michael Power confirmed the expected date on Monday and said shoppers would have "far greater choice" in the mammoth new store, measuring 5,000 square metres in floor space "plus a number of other speciality stores".
"The former Farmers store was less than half that size. This will allow for a far wider range of products than the old store and a vastly improved shopping environment."
Power said aside from the initial "issues and delays" surrounding the insurance claim, there had been no obstacles to the development of the store and support from council and locals confirmed building the larger store was the right decision.
"Farmers has been a large part of the retail landscape in Rangiora for a very long time and has provided Rangiora with employment and commercial benefits.
"The new store will bring back opportunities for other businesses and residents and add a new vibrancy to the main street shopping experience."
Developments to the Junction Hotel facade, formerly Robbies Bar and Bistro, would continue to add vibrancy as Rangiora would receive its first Vietnamese restaurant.
Sushi ya owner Hung Thanh Lam purchased the facade to develop a new premises for the business that had been operating out of a food truck since the earthquakes.
When Sushi ya closed for business in the evenings, the store would become Secret, a fusion of Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine as well as a sushi train, he said.
Lam said he expected the new building behind the facade, which would also include a hairdresser, beauty store, frozen yoghurt store and office space upstairs, to be finished around June.
"We've been here quite a while and we've seen the changes. I'm quite excited for the next 2 or 3 years when everything will be up and running again."
NO EXPENSE SPARED
Artisan by Rangiora Bakery managing director Ron Van Til said his new building on the corner of Durham and High Streets was expected to be fully operational by mid-year.
Van Til said some stores may be open as soon as April, but he was unable to confirm the various businesses that would occupy the building as there was a "suppression of interest on most of the sites".
He said he had lived in Rangiora his entire life and the building was his "way of giving something back to the community".
"I've decided to spend more than probably most people would. What I build is going to be there for the next 50 years and it's not about building to make profit, it's about building to make the town a better place to live in."