Massive Hamilton Retail Development Gets Underway

Work will begin immediately on Stage 1 of Hamilton’s largest retail shopping centre development now that final resource consents have been granted by Hamilton City Council.

Saturday, August 21st 2004

The $50 million “The Base” retail centre will be built on the site of the former Air Force base in Te Rapa in a joint venture between Tainui Group Holdings and The Warehouse Group.

Stage 1 of the project includes a 16,000 square metre retail outlet which will house one of New Zealand’s largest Warehouse stores and an adjoining Warehouse Stationery store. Steve Murray, Chief Executive of Tainui Groups Holdings, said the development will begin immediately.

“We plan to have Stage 1 of the project up and running in 12 months from now,” he said.

The multi-store retail project, which is ultimately designed to attract a range of large retail outlets and a variety of smaller boutique tenants, will be anchored by The Warehouse. The 17ha site is approximately the size of 25 football fields.

The project is a vast undertaking which, once it is completed, will include 60,000 square metres of retail space and over 2,000 carparks.

“A great deal of planning has gone into the project,” said Mr Murray. “The style and surroundings will take the shopping experience to a level never seen before in Hamilton.”

“It has been a long journey by Tainui Group Holdings to get to this point,” said Mr Murray.

“The land was tagged for redevelopment from the start and we have been working through a long and complex process to get to this point since 1998.”

Initial work included clearing the land in preparation for the project and preparing the resource consent applications which were initially lodged in 2002. Consents for the project required a change to the City Council’s plans. While the Council agreed to the plan changes a number of objectors, including other retail developers, appealed to the Environment Court and then the High Court. The appeals were rejected in both cases but held up the development for almost a year.

Nathan York, General Manager Property for Tainui Group Holdings said the delays caused by planning and legal issues had been frustrating, but he was now delighted that work could finally begin.

“The site is ideally situated to meet the growing retail needs of the rapidly expanding population in Hamilton.”

Mr York said other retail developments in the Te Rapa area would help to make it Hamilton’s prime retail service centre.

“With The Base’s location at the intersection of main arterial routes from the east, west and south we are confident it will be the focal point for all the developments taking place in the area.”

The partnership with The Warehouse Group was strategically important for the site’s development with their considerable retail expertise and their ability to attract other heavyweight retail clusters.

This is the biggest development project undertaken by Tainui Group Holdings to date. The total project is expected to cost approximately $50 million.

“We have cleared the site and gone through extensive planning and statutory reviews to get to this point,” says Mr York. “Now we have cleared the final hurdle and we can begin to realise the potential of the site.”

Mr Murray said the joint venture with The Warehouse Group underpinned the development.

“We believe this will be the most exciting retail development Hamilton has ever seen. There is a strong interest by a number of major New Zealand and international retailers and I am confident that the development will set a new benchmark for the region,” said Mr Murray.

The new centre will be one of the key economic developments taking place in Hamilton providing a large number of jobs both during the construction period and in the new retail centre.


Friday, 20 August 2004, 4:33 pm
Press Release: Tainui Group Holdings
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