Willowridge Developments Ltd has lodged an application with Queenstown Lakes District Council to increase retail space at the Three Parks Special Zone from 10,000sqm to 34,600sqm.
The resource consent to vary an Outline Development Plan (ODP) for the Zone to uplift additional retail floorspace was formally received by council this week. The ODP was approved in November 2015, with a subsequent variation to the ODP to vary the layout of the commercial core subzone approved in June 2018.
The application sought additional retail floorspace of 24,600sqm, to add to the existing permitted 10,000sqm of retail activity in the commercial core.
A Town Centre Health Check, undertaken by economists Brown Copeland and Co Ltd, in conjunction with Colliers International for Willowridge, found Wanaka town centre to be in “good health as a result of significant increase in population and visitor numbers in the last eight years”, but it found a “need for more retail floorspace”.
“There is little, if any, vacant retail or office space in the town centre and when vacancies occur re-letting times are minimal.”
The application noted that the permitted 10,000sqm will be exceeded by the zone’s first two retailers - a supermarket and a hardware store.
Construction has started on the new 3852sqm supermarket which is scheduled to be completed by late 2019, while a resource consent application for a 7500sqm hardware store is being prepared. Negotiations are also underway with other retail operators.