Queenstown Central pitched at locals and tourists

4:55 PM Tuesday August 22, 2017 Colin Taylor

An artist’s impression of Queenstown Central retail centre which is taking shape in Frankton.

Artisan food outlets, local retailers and national brands have signed on as tenants of a retail development that will serve Queenstown’s fast-growing local market.

Queenstown Central, a new town square and shopping destination, is under construction on a 23ha site in the emergent Frankton retail precinct.

The first stage of the development, comprising 10,000sq m of retail and 4,500sq m of office, is due for completion in October next year.

The centre is being developed by Queenstown Central Limited (QCL) and marketed and managed by Colliers International’s Real Estate Management team.

Anchored by Kmart, it will feature a main street and town square, speciality shops, and restaurants and bars.

Colliers’ Real Estate Management National Director Richard James says 70 per cent of the retail space has already been leased off the plans.

“Queenstown retailers are overwhelmingly geared towards tourists and Queenstown Central is exactly the type of offering the district has been lacking,” he says.

“Kmart will anchor the development and, with its focus on affordable homewares, it is exactly the type of retailer that residents have been crying out for. The overall tenant mix will have something for everyone.”

Queenstown Central has secured a number of national retailers, while boutique retailers will include local homeware store Mooch, which is moving from within the local area, and Jaime’s Jewellers, a 150-year-old family business that is expanding from Alexandra.

Artisanal food outlets include a butcher, baker, and organic fresh food store Soul Food Organic, which is extending from its original location in Wanaka.

James says the superbly located development has a major focus on State Highway 6, offers great access to the retail offering , and is a key attraction for major retailers.

“With its prime position on the main road in and out of town, Queenstown Central will have enormous profile,” he says.

“The development is centrally positioned in the middle of the Frankton retail precinct, which is growing rapidly thanks to the significant undersupply of retail space in the Queenstown area.”

Evan Harris, National Retail Director of Colliers’ Real Estate Management team, says Queenstown’s huge population and tourism growth is the key driver of demand for more retail outlets.

“The permanent resident population is rising fast, with growth of 7.2 per cent last year,” he says.

“Tourism growth has also been spectacular, with airport arrival numbers doubling in eight years. The number of annual visitors is projected to increase to 2.5 million over the next few years.”

Harris says the population of Queenstown Central’s primary catchment is already more than 35,000, while the total catchment population is 51,000, increasing to 90,000 people on some days when tourist numbers are included.

“The catchment’s numbers will increase as population growth continues,” he says.

Harris says permanent residents of the primary catchment are already spending up large.

“Locals are contributing $341.4m a year to the retail sector, including more than $40m at department stores. Tourist spending included adds an even rosier picture.”

Harris says Queenstown Central is ideally positioned to benefit from the area’s ongoing demographic boom.

“This development is centrally located in relation to all of the town’s residential expansion. More than 5500 sections have been added in the surrounding area since 2011 and more are to come.”

Soul Food Organic owner Paul O’Hara says he is looking forward to making the move to Queenstown Central.

“It’s an ideal location because there simply isn’t a specialist organic food offering in the area.

“We get customers in Wanaka who’ve travelled all the way from Queenstown, which shows the level of demand among locals.”

He says Queenstown Central’s convenient location and sensitive design principles are among the reasons he chose to locate in the new development.

Whitcoulls Chief Executive Officer Brenda Pennycuick says she is delighted Whitcoulls will be opening a new store in Queenstown Central.

“This development will provide an exciting retail environment that we believe will appeal to both locals and visitors alike,” she says.

“Queenstown continues to experience strong growth which makes this an attractive location for the Whitcoulls brand.”

Colliers’ Retail Leasing Executive Michaela Cody, who is marketing the development with Harris, says Queenstown Central will be world-class retail destination.

“With its vibrant main street and town centre, Queenstown Central will be the beating heart of the area. It will have an authentic sense of place with immense appeal to locals and visitors alike.”

Cody says the design will build on the dramatic landscapes, climate and history of the area to tell a memorable and fresh Queenstown story.

“Using nature as a guide, Queenstown Central will be built to a human scale that connects with its surroundings.

“The rustic beauty of the Frankton flats and the majesty of the towering The Remarkables will be celebrated through clear view lines and the sensitive use of materials.

“The overall approach is one of well crafted, honest expression. Raw stone and natural timber will be offset with crisp, contemporary glazing and steel.”