By this time next year,
the first buildings could be going up in Wanaka's
single-biggest commercial and residential development.
After more than 10 years of planning, Willowridge managing
director Allan Dippie is set to crank up civil construction
work this year on his 112ha Three Parks development south of
the Wanaka golf course.
The central feature of the subdivision will be 17ha of
commercial land available for retail outlets, ranging from a
supermarket and ''bulk goods retailers'' to cafes and
There is also provision for a service station, camping
ground, school, lifestyle village, serviced apartments and
Mr Dippie told the Otago Daily Times this week he
already had several expressions of interest in commercial
sites from existing Wanaka and ''new-to-Wanaka'' businesses
and some contracts had been signed.
''[We] have a large range of business types that wish to
establish, from commercial and service businesses requiring
light industrial land through to retail operators.
''We also have some specialist businesses requiring
specialist activity sites, for example service stations.''
Willowridge was looking for expressions of interest from
businesses wanting to develop ''local tourist-oriented
''Three Parks has a zone for such activities and I would like
to see more attractions for both locals and tourists,'' he
''The potential is enormous and I've been busy lately looking
at new ideas that local people could bring to the town.''
He likened the commercial part of Three Parks to
Remarkables Park at Frankton, except that it would have a
''Main St'' running through the centre rather than a car park.
Asked about opposition to ''big box'' retail development in
some parts of New Zealand and overseas, Mr Dippie said the
''person in the street'' would welcome more retail
competition and a greater range of products.
He expected the development would make Wanaka ''much more
self-reliant'' in goods and services ''rather than the large
amount of business that is done out of town, by necessity
rather than choice, at present''.
''This will help Wanaka become a less expensive and more
convenient place to live.''
Eight hundred to 1000 houses are planned for the development,
but Mr Dippie said getting them to the market was not the
first priority and he emphasised the ''long-term'' nature of
''We have a large amount of residential extensions to our
existing subdivision projects at both West Meadows and
Meadowstone under way at present, which is keeping us busy.''
Many infrastructure services for Three Parks were already in
place and earthworks had started at the Ballantyne Rd end of
the site for stage one of the development in an area referred
to as the ''business subzone'', Mr Dippie said.
Stage two, to begin in 2015, would see progress on the bulk
retail and other specialist business activities.
Significant progress would be made this year on a new road
linking Ballantyne Rd and State Highway 6, opposite Mt Iron
at the entrance to Wanaka, he said.
One of the priorities was to build a road and supply services
to land where the Queenstown Lakes District Council plans to
build a sports complex.
''We have an agreement in place with council to do this and
it's a priority,'' Mr Dippie said.
He expected the sports and facilities complex to include an
aquatic centre. Over the next 10 years, Mr Dippie said Three
Parks would become a ''fully integrated community'' in the
''There will be a large amount of people both living and
working within Three Parks.''
Mr Dippie expected the development would create construction
and permanent jobs ''and the wider benefits will flow through
to the wider community.
''The existing town centre will have been allowed to retain
its charm and be extra special,'' he said.