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Main street redevelopment on target for a pre-Christmas finish

Gemmells site 1

Main street redevelopment on target for a pre-Christmas finish

Wairoa’s long-awaited community courtyard development is on target to be completed by around November of this year, in time for the Christmas period.

Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Kitea Tipuna said Cyclone Gabrielle caused additional delays, however, the project has since regained momentum and is tracking well.

The main street project is taking shape with construction of the new build a priority. This building will connect to the courtyard space and house three businesses within the development.

A lease agreement for the first tenant is now in place with hospitality and entertainment entrepreneurs Layton and Ange Gemmell signed up to operate their business,  Gemmells – Café, Bar and Restaurant from the new facility.

Other tenancy agreements are being finalised as the construction phase progresses, including a hospitality pod tenant. An expressions of interest process was undertaken for the hospitality pod, with four submissions received. Recommendations have been prepared and will be presented to Council’s Strategy, Wellbeing and Economic Development Committee for approval at the end of May.

Mr Tipuna said on site, work around installing underground services is progressing and the roof is expected to be fully installed by the end of May with full close-in of the complex by the end of June.

Kanoa's Principal Regional Advisor, Cameron Osmond said the progress is very pleasing to see, and acknowledges the great work of the Wairoa District Council's team in navigating this project forward in what has been challenging circumstances. 

Wairoa District Council has also received another funding boost from First Light Community Foundation to support the construction of the street canopy. The foundation has generously contributed to the project since its inception.

Te Wairoa E Whanake – Rise Up and Grow Wairoa involves transforming the former main street burnt-out building and the neighbouring former Winter’s building. The project is predominantly funded through a $4.8 million Provincial Growth Fund grant from Kānoa, the Government’s Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit. The project focusses on delivering a multi-functional connected town centre that celebrates Wairoa’s unique heritage and culture. The development aims to provide locals and visitors with a space to gather, socialise, and connect free of charge.

To date, for the Gemmell’s site redevelopment, approximately $3.1 million has been spent on the building purchase, design, project/site management and construction.

Meanwhile, a design review is underway for the former Winter’s building, on the corner of the main street and Locke Street, to ensure a suitable facility can be achieved within the available budget. An architectural team has been engaged to design a cost-effective, fit-for-purpose space that will house the relocated Wairoa i-Site. Conceptual designs are being developed.

Photo caption: Work on the inside of the main street redevelopment is starting to take shape.

9 May 2023

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