After four years of planning and court battles, the demolition and re-development of Invercargill CBD is facing more hold ups with the country under lockdown
As all non-essential workers head home for a minimum of four weeks to combat COVID-19, the Invercargill CBD development is unlikely to meet its target open date.
The organisation behind city block development stage one, Invercargill Central Ltd, planned to complete its stage construction by February 2022.
With contractors downing tools during the lockdown, Invercargill Central Ltd director Scott O’Donnell says it would be unlikely. As a result, negotiations would have to begin with its anchor tenant, Farmers, around a new start date.
The financial hit that retailers are likely to face due to COVID-19 may also result in further complications for developers due to the required $5 million annual rental income to secure a bank loan. Scott says they have no expectations for what will happen until construction can recommence.
Careful consideration has been given to design a contemporary, functional centre that will provide a vibrant and engaging customer experience, while remaining in scale with the existing buildings of the Invercargill Central Business District (CBD).
Three heritage building facades will be preserved and worked into the new development, including that of the former Southland Times building, Coxhead’s Building and the Cambridge Arcade North Entrance, all on Esk Street. The ILT Kelvin Hotel, Reading Cinemas and the New South Wales Bank building do not form part of this development.
This inner city redevelopment plans to revitalise the centre of Invercargill and touch all corners of the consumer experience. From gourmet eateries to plentiful parking, the block aims to have something to offer everyone.
“The project to transform the centre of Invercargill is now underway. This is the start of great things for our city and is the result of many years of effort from various parties. We look forward with excitement to the outcome this project will bring,” Invercargill Central Limited director Scott O’Donnell says.