News and Publications

Property News: 26 March 2018

Shops shut as rents rise and sales fall

A combination of rising rents and falling sales have forced more retailers to shut up shop in Nelson city centre amid criticism of a growing number of variety stores in the CBD.

Jeanswest became the latest high street name to close its doors on Trafalgar Street this month, after Michael Hill Jewellers, Pagani women's clothing store and Beds R Us stopped trading in the central city in January.

The shop next door to the former site of Jeanswest was also empty.

"The rent killed us," Leigh Riley, co-owner of homewares and interior design business, Strangers Collective, said.

Riley and her business partner set up the store several months ago after moving back to their hometown, believing the boutique shop of handmade and New Zealand made products was something the city needed.

They decided not to renew their lease after being told their rent of $50,000 a year plus costs, was going up, as they were trying to renegotiate it down.

Colliers International commercial broker, Geoff Faulkner, said landlords had brought "premium brands" into the shops that the estate agent had leased in the last couple of weeks.

"They [owners] want tenants that are going to have long-term positions and grow the value of the inner city.

"The best example we had recently was a shop on Hardy St where we had three different offers and the owners were really quite focused on working out which was going to be the best shop for the precinct."

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 19 March 2018)

Closed street car-free and carefree

The closure of upper Trafalgar Street over summer has been an almost unanimous hit.

Turning the area into a pedestrian zone made the area "cosmopolitan", "relaxing", and "social", according to dozens of comments on the city council’s call for feedback. There were even calls for the closure to be made permanent.

Doti Young, at the Crema Coffee Cart, said she hadn’t worked there previous years, but her instinct was that the closure would have improved business.

The owner of The Vic Mac’s Brewbar, Phil Williams, said the street being closed "worked really well".

Aside from a few small issues like needing more staff, and the initial investment required, he said there had been almost no negatives.

Williams said there were still some things to work on, assuming the trial run continued next summer, but he said he would be happy with the closure being a permanent feature.

(The Nelson Mail, Monday 19 March 2018)

Countdown to store opening

A proposed Countdown supermarket at Richmond, near Nelson, could open its doors to the first shoppers in late 2019.

Supermarket company Progressive Enterprises Ltd is behind the proposed store, earmarked for a site on the corner of Salisbury and Champion roads at the northern entrance to Richmond.

The company’s national development manager, Matthew Grainger, on Monday told the Tasman regional transport committee that Progressive Enterprises did not yet have a detailed programme for the proposed store "but all going well, there’d be no reason why we couldn’t open it by the end of 2019".

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 21 March 2018)

Council forced to top up projects

The trust that runs the Theatre Royal has been given an additional $600,000 loan from the council, bringing its total debt to the council to $2.1m.

Nelson Historic Theatre Trust already owed $1.5m to the Nelson City Council.

The council’s Audit, Risk and Finance subcommittee yesterday agreed to take on the additional $632,256 loan yesterday.

In a report to the subcommittee on February 13 the group manager of community services Chris Ward said the trust had insignificant income to make payments on the $1.5m loan to the council, and was asking the council to also take on an extra $632,256 loan it had to the Nelson Building Society.

The trust has only been paying interest to the council at $40,000 a year on the $1.5m loan. Taking on the extra debt would increase interest payments to the council to $60,000 a year.

The cornerstone Stoke project, Greenmeadows Centre, was also granted over half a million dollars yesterday after going over budget.

The project not only went through the whole of its funding, but it has also gone through its allotted contingency fund.

The $6.4 million project has been controversial with strong support from Stoke sports and community groups but others have questioned the site and cost.

Yesterday the council approved up to $590,000 to the project in "unbudgeted capital", with a few caveats that certain "additional funding items" may not be approved.

Much of the decision-making was not made public due to commercial reasons.

(The Nelson Mail, Wednesday 21 March 2018)

Springs flow 'highly modified'

Te Waikoropupu¯ Springs and the Arthur Marble Aquifer are artifically modified so cannot be preserved in a natural state, the district council says in its submission to a Water Conservation Order.

The aquifer recharge and subsequent springs' flow is "highly modified" through the operation of the Cobb Dam hydroelectric power scheme, the council submission says.

In its submission, the council says it supports the Water Conservation Order in principle. However, it raises some issues, seeks some changes and calls for further drafting to clarify the nature and scope of the order as well as the values considered to be outstanding. The council says the springs and aquifer are "artificially modified" so cannot be preserved in a natural state. It wants the order to state it is for the protection of the outstanding values and characteristics of the springs and aquifer "rather than a preservation order".

(The Nelson Mail, Friday 23 March 2018)

Limited access to Kahurangi as roads remain closed

The most popular roads into the Kahurangi National Park remained closed, restricting access to Mt Arthur and the upper half of the national park.

Road access has been limited after damage from ex-Cyclone Gita caused the closure of the Graham Valley Rd near Motueka and the Cobb Dam Rd in Golden Bay.

Department of Conservation Golden Bay senior recreation ranger Neil Murray said the road leading onto the bridge at the start of the Cobb Dam Rd was destroyed during Gita, preventing access to the valley and many huts and tracks in the area.

DOC Motueka operations manager Mark Townsend said the slip which closed the Graham Valley Rd was in the same area as the major slip that occurred in 2012.

He said the road closures meant access into the Kahurangi National Park was limited to the remote road ends in the Baton Valley Rd, Wangapeka River Rd and the Owen River East Rd.

(The Nelson Mail, Saturday 24 March 2018)

Thought for the Week

It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.

(Margaret Bonnano)