The builders of a $200m buying centre on the outskirts of New Plymouth have rubbished a district council plan discouraging retail alternatives outdoors the town’s CBD.
Bluehaven Group purchased the previous Ravensdown web site for $9.7 million and has plans to start out building inside a yr of a two-level complicated that may embrace massive field and speciality retail shops, a grocery store, cinema, places of work, meals and beverage premises and resort.
And whereas it already has useful resource consent for the venture, Bluehaven requested the location be re-zoned from industrial to a subregional centre or “site-specific standing with a change from industrial to industrial zoning”, when making a submission to the New Plymouth District Council’s Proposed District Plan this week.
In her submission, the corporate’s lawyer Kate Barry-Piceno argued in opposition to the council’s hierarchical strategy prioritising the CBD and limiting growth elsewhere, saying there was no proof to justify it.
* Developers of New Plymouth’s old Ravensdown site want council roading support for multi million-dollar complex
* Renewed calls for Kmart to come to the city after news of pending sale of New Plymouth fertiliser plant
Barry-Piceno mentioned the council’s planning report provided no proof the expansion of the CBD had been curtailed by progress elsewhere, that the lack of market share from the CBD to different centres was the rationale for its decline, or that the decline was adversely impacting group welfare, the financial system or setting.
The council ought to search to prioritise growth within the CBD by focussing on initiatives that facilitate funding there fairly than District Plan provisions impeding funding elsewhere, her submission mentioned.
As well as, economics marketing consultant Adam Thompson, an skilled witness for Bluehaven, took situation with a Property Economics report from June, which mentioned there was satisfactory retail on supply in New Plymouth and a major degree of unused capability within the CBD.
Thompson argued the report didn’t take into account massive field, or large-format retailers (LFR), which have been both not in New Plymouth or required further house to fulfill their short-medium time period wants.
He mentioned there have been solely two properties within the CBD giant sufficient and priced appropriately for giant field companies, however each have been already occupied.
He listed a number of LFR companies that both wished to maneuver into the district or increase, like supermarkets, hardwares shops, Kmart and Crackerjacks however there was at present no capability within the CBD to accomodate their wants.
“The institution of those shops would cut back retail spend leakage out of New Plymouth.”
The explanation Bluehaven needs a re-zoning is to make it simpler to regulate building, ought to a giant field retailer need to transfer in on the complicated and have sure wants, Thompson mentioned.
In its submission Bluehaven additionally identified the Property Economics report confirmed the town’s CBD was bettering.
The report states that from 2016 to 2020 a further 360 retail workers had been added within the CBD (a ten.4 per cent improve), industrial employment had elevated by 950 individuals, and the variety of retail shops had lifted from 248 to 335.
Retail spend additionally went up from $834m in 2018 to $875m in 2020.
Bluehaven chief govt Nathan York informed the plan listening to through video convention the venture would contribute $125 million to the GDP yearly, however there could also be some delays on the resort and cinema as these industries have been struggling within the present local weather.
York mentioned he had been concerned in initiatives elsewhere, together with the Base mall in Waikato, which opened in 2004, the place there have been fears such a posh would influence the CBD however this had not occurred.
“By the event of the Base itself, there was, I suppose, the Henny Penny strategy and ‘the sky will fall down’ – that didn’t happen within the CBD in any respect.
“What we have now seen now’s a reset within the Hamilton CBD setting to the extent we’ve seen quite a few workplace developments happen.”
That “full turnaround” was inconsistent with the suggestion that funding in a centre outdoors the CBD can have a unfavorable influence in town centre, York mentioned.
One other of Bluehaven’s skilled witnesses, planning marketing consultant Jeremy Brophy, submitted the event, like the present buying centre on the Valley, was a “utterly totally different providing to the CBD”.
“In my view, the buying expertise within the CBD versus the Waiwhakaiho Valley are every uniquely totally different,” he mentioned.
“The event will present trendy, architecturally designed tenancies which might be more likely to entice a lot of companies that don’t at present exist in New Plymouth.”