Inner city retail revamp under way

By Fritz Lindekilde


Building contractors yesterday wheeled in the heavy equipment to drill holes in the concrete walls of the building that used to house Number One Shoes.

The 20-year-old building in Elizabeth St is being refurbished and is being split into two large retail shops.

The shoe store has moved across the road while the work is carried out but will return once the project has been completed.

"The target is that the shop can move back in mid-November", project manager and designer Matt Hodson of Insight Architecture Ltd said.

The landlord, Parnwell Trust, is looking for a fourth tenant that will complement the retailers which operate in the complex which also houses Kathmandu and Dick Smith.

"There are some positive enquires from potential tenants for the building," Mr Hodson said.

"When finished it will feature a beautiful glass front and will be a light, bright modern retail space inside.

"The brick wall in the car park between Dick Smith and the construction site will be torn down, and there will be parking outside each of the two new shops".

All up, each shop will have four car parks each outside their shopfront and around 1500 square metres of modern retail space inside the building.

Mr Hodson, who is also the project manager, said the 20-year-old building was fundamentally a sound building which, when finished, would comply with earthquake building standards. "It was much cheaper to renovate than build new," Mr Hodson said.

The refurbishment was estimated to cost $600,000.

The building first housed a large bakery, and was later the home of Mitre10 and Briscoes.

"It's good to see people [landlords] with the confidence to go ahead and build. It creates stability in the market when big companies are going forward."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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