New commercial building popular

The owners of Wanaka's Speight's Ale House in the new 93 Ardmore St building have this week been turning away prospective customers who could not wait for the restaurant's opening today. The eatery, and other tenants, are in the new mixed-use building at the eastern end of Wanaka's prime lakefront commercial strip, on a 1131sq m site next to the Bullock Creek reserve.

Wanaka's previous Speight's Ale House, which operated from the other end of the strip, became the Wanaka Ale House a few years ago. The co-owner of the new Wanaka Speight's Ale House, Grant Lawrie, said the company had been keen to return to the town and 93 Ardmore St was ''the perfect property'', one which would be an asset to Wanaka's hospitality and retail industries.

The pub and restaurant is the second Speight's Ale House featuring the company's ''new generation'' fit-out. The first is in Nelson. The 93 Ardmore St building was constructed by Naylor Love and has 11 tenancies, including the BNZ, which was first to open on Monday, and Francesca's Italian Restaurant, opening next week. Eight commercial tenants will move into upstairs offices either before Christmas and early in the new year.

Colliers International agent Mary-Jo Hudson said there had been high levels of interest from prospective tenants, particularly in the ground-floor units, which were ''snapped up'' as construction started at the beginning of the year.

''The success of the project, including the fact that it is fully leased prior to completion, is firmly linked to the fundamentals of the property - a prime location and functional but high-quality design principles, which in turn attracts high quality tenants,'' Ms.Hudson said.

The 93 Ardmore St development is on the last property on the central lakefront strip available for commercial development.