Frankton project gains momentum

Five Mile retail complex. Graphic by the ODT.
Five Mile retail complex. Graphic by the ODT.
With key tenant Countdown confirmed and more retailers being courted, a spokesman for the $125 million Five Mile Frankton Flats big box retail complex says the project is gaining momentum.

"Progressive [Enterprises] are a key anchor tenant with their full-format Countdown store and we're looking to a number of other potential tenants and will just continue to bed that down," Five Mile spokesman Simon Holloway said.

He said discussions were continuing with a potential operator for a multiplex cinema on the site, which also includes plans for a department store, fashion precinct, office space and apartments.

Mr Holloway was in the resort last week with Five Mile developer Tony Gapes, where he spoke from Queenstown airport as the pair waited for a flight back to Auckland, delayed by the Chilean volcanic ash cloud.

Mr Holloway confirmed construction of the 35,000sq m project would begin "later in the year".

Five Mile was granted master planning, with 20 consent conditions, in April and earlier this month Lakes Environmental received resource consent applications from Mr Gapes' company, Queenstown Gateway Ltd, for the architectural aspects of stages 2 and 3 of the project, which has been anticipated since it was acquired from receivers in late 2009 for $21 million.

The 7.8ha site is at "Hendo's Hole" - originally intended as a massive underground car park left behind when bankrupted developer Dave Henderson abandoned plans for a 10,000-home Tuscan village - dubbed Five Mile - backed by the failed Hanover Finance.

If Five Mile eventuates, it will compete with the Porter brothers' Remarkables Park complex and their proposed $100 million Shotover Park, also at Frankton, that will include a Pak'n Save supermarket and petrol station.

Mr Gapes has previously said he is not concerned with retail saturation in the Frankton area, and the latest consent application says competition and growth will benefit Five Mile.

"Frankton is a growth area for the Queenstown Lakes district. Due to its flat topography, transport linkages and proximity to other surrounding development, Frankton has greater potential to absorb development than other parts of Queenstown," the document reads.


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