Our $40m makeover
Ward St to close as redevelopment beginsANGELA CUMING
Will this be enough to save Hamilton's city centre?
A section of Ward Street between Anglesea Street and Worley Place will be permanently closed to vehicle traffic on Monday when work starts on the $40 million makeover for Hamilton's Centre Place shopping precinct.
Centre Place owners Kiwi Income Property Trust's full range, 7000 sq m Farmers department store will anchor a new two-level development in what was Downtown.
The project will include the formal closing of Ward Street west, which currently divides the precinct. The two parts of the centre will then be connected by a covered pedestrian link.
The project will also include:
* An external dining area adjacent to the Centre Place foodcourt;
* New retail shops;
* Canopies allowing all weather passage between both parts of Centre Place;
* Landscaping and garden features, and
* New feature street lighting, furniture and paving.
Kiwi Income Property Trust general manager, Mark Luker, said the redevelopment would attract tenants never before seen in the Waikato, including high end fashion retailer Cue.
Farmers will take a 15-year lease over their new premises, with a target opening date in time for Christmas 2013, he said.
The redevelopment also features the construction of new premises Rebel Sport, who opened in July 2011.
During the development, Centre Place management and contractors will work to ensure minimum disruption for shoppers, retailers and pedestrians, Mr Luker said.
"We are keen to make this space as functional and as attractive as possible during construction," said Mr Luker.
"The first work to be carried out in Ward Street will be the upgrade of underground services. We have a detailed construction plan in place and keeping good access flows for our customers is of paramount importance."
"On completion of the works, Centre Place will be firmly back on the map as a major retail destination offering fashion and entertainment in the heart of Hamilton City."