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Invercargill businesses are on the move in anticipation of the city centre redevelopment. CBD business owners were told in March their buildings would be demolished to make way for a shopping precinct in the heart of the city centre, forcing business owners to temporarily relocate when demolition begins.
The new precinct is planned for the block enclosed by Tay, Dee, Esk and Kelvin Sts. Venom Hair Salon owner Adrian Barclay said once he got over the "initial shock" of having to move, he managed to secure a lease in the newly developed Don St business hub. He plans to move into the new premises in November, which he says is a positive move for his businesses.
"We’ve seen it as an awesome opportunity for my salon. We get to go into another brand-new, thriving area and enjoy a new build," he said.
HWCP, a joint venture formed between Invercargill City Property Ltd and HWR Property Ltd to plan and carry out the rebuild, had been helpful in assisting with the shift, Mr Barclay said. HWR is a part of H. W. Richardson Group Ltd, and Invercargill City Property Ltd is a part of the council-owned Holdco investment enterprise.
"They’ve been pretty forthcoming with supporting us, to make sure the business doesn’t take too many knocks. They’ve given us plenty of time to relocate so they can get on with the project," Mr Barclay said.
Zookeepers Cafe owner Paul Clark said plans were under way for the cafe to move also, though he could not say when or where. He said negotiations with HWCP were yet to begin.
"I’ve got to go somewhere in the meantime, but I want to hear back from [HWCP] about what they can do to help me."
He said the idea of a container-style mall had been mentioned by HWCP as a possible alternative for businesses during the rebuild. Demolition of the inner-city buildings is due to begin early next year.