George St changes prompt business move

Sue Todd is moving her antiques business to South Dunedin, saying she believes the council is not...
Sue Todd is moving her antiques business to South Dunedin, saying she believes the council is not listening to central city business owners. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A central Dunedin antiques dealer says she is moving shop because of the city council’s changes to George St.

The DCC says the completed upgrade of the city’s main shopping street will attract more people to the area and they will spend more time and money there.

Sue Todd has had a store in Lower Stuart St for 12 years but is moving her business to Hillside Rd in May, citing the revamp of Dunedin’s main shopping street as her main reason for moving.

"I loved being here, but what they’re doing to George St and the central business district makes it impossible," she said.

Sue Todd Antiques is east of George St, two blocks from the Octagon, but Ms Todd said she believed the whole business community in the general vicinity would suffer from parking lost in the new design of George St.

She predicted the flow of customers to her store would turn into a trickle.

She felt Mayor Aaron Hawkins and the council had ignored her and other business owners’ repeated entreaties to stop development going ahead.

"We had a petition with 6500 signatures against the George St development, but they weren’t interested, which was frustrating," she said.

Asked what impact Covid-19 and the lack of tourists over the past two years had had on her business, she said they were not issues.

She relied on independent customers, not on those who visited Dunedin on cruise ships, she said.

"I’m moving away because I want to keep going.

"What they’re doing to George St will just mean fewer people and less business," she said.

A council spokesman said it acknowledged the construction work that began in George St on Monday this week was disruptive, which was why it had several initiatives under way to help minimise the impacts on local businesses.

It was confident the completed upgrade would help attracting locals and visitors to the area to spend more time and money, he said.