New Riverview commercial centre for Kaiapoi
An artist’s impression of Kaiapoi’s planned Riverview development at 180 Williams St.
A new commercial centre is planned for the Canterbury town of Kaiapoi in the Waimakariri District with retail tenants now being sought.
“The new Riverview centre will be beside the Kaiapoi River,” says Anton Ritani of JLL which has been appointed master agency for the development.
“JLL is seeking suitable retail and food and beverage tenants for Riverview and will also invite other agencies to collaborate in these leasing opportunities,” Ritani says.
The 1400sqm Riverview centre at 180 Williams Street, on the northern side of the river, will incorporate a cafe, a bar and seven retail tenancies ranging in size from 23sqm to 248sqm.
The project is the concept of Kaiapoi locals Jedd Pearce and Mark Revis, directors of PLC Developments Limited..
“Kaiapoi is still regenerating after the damage suffered in the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and its population is growing. In the 2013 census, the Waimakariri District was shown to be one of the fastest growing in New Zealand,” says Ritani.
He says the Kaiapoi Town Centre plan focuses on revitalising the area around the river.
“The council wants to spend around $8 million to revitalise the river with walkways and pontoons. This development fits the vision for the area and the council has leased the developer the land to build on.
“PLC Developments is in the process of planning the groundworks for this project. The design has strong visual appeal and, when completed in late 2017, it is envisaged the centre will be a meeting place for the community and visitors to the district.”
The plan for Riverview includes a courtyard seating area, a sculpture, outdoor cafe seating along the riverfront and large areas of timber decking connecting the tenancies.
“Just across the road is the 130-year-old BNZ building, which was given landmark status in 2010,” says Ritani. “It was closed after the 2010 quake as it had subsided, and was re-levelled in 2015.
“The heritage of this part of town is particularly important since the museum (formerly the courthouse), the Methodist parsonage and the community centre were lost in the earthquakes,” he says.
Chris Beasleigh, National Director of Retail Sales and Leasing for JLL, says plans for the new centre have been well thought out.
“The key is the food and beverage. Having a great cafe and bar will increase customer ‘dwell time’ and the retail tenants will subsequently benefit. Ultimately they feed off each other as they draw foot traffic at different times. Cafe customers will pop into the retail outlets and vice versa.”
Beasleigh says the riverside location will give the centre potential appeal as a destination in its own right.
“A good cafe operator will draw visitors from Greater Christchurch who want to dine in that setting and this will be good news for Kaiapoi’s economy.”
Kaiapoi is about 20km north of central Christchurch or a 28-minute drive. The town is seen as a local service centre for wider Kaiapoi, Pines, Kairaki Beach and Clarkville.
By 2038 it is projected to be the nearest centre for up to 8700 households. Enterprise North Canterbury says many new businesses have located in Kaiapoi and the employee count in the area is much higher in 2014 than it was in 2010.