Building an entertainment hub and hospitality training facility will turn lower Tarbert St into a thriving town centre, create up to 20 jobs and build business confidence, an Alexandra businessman says.
Rory McLellan and wife and business partner, Karen, plan to renovate and add to the former 1000sq m Shooters Bar site opposite The Warehouse.
Plans include three kitchens, a restaurant, takeaway outlet, an events and function venue, accommodation and three bars, including one on the rooftop.
The complex will be multifunctional with multiple income streams to ensure it becomes a successful venture.
The couple are waiting for an engineer’s sign-off on their plans and once that is received, will apply for consent from the Central Otago District Council.
If that is approved they intend to start building early next year and hope to be trading before Christmas.
They expect to employ up to 20 people and hope to eventually include a recognised cadetship or training programme for hospitality students as part of the business model, Mr McLellan said.
His own plumbing and heating business trains seven apprentices at a time and he wants to see that principle carried forward into the new business.
Alexandra, Clyde and Districts Business Group secretary Stu Millis said Mr McLellan spoke about the hub during their latest business breakfast.
‘‘We are fully supportive of it and we have set up a subcommittee to help lower Tarbert St, and Rory has agreed to chair the group.’’
They wanted to see the town centre doing well, Mr McLellan said.
‘‘Now is a great time to rejuvenate the town centre with interest rates at record lows.
‘‘If we can create more offerings for locals and visitors to come here, it is going to benefit everybody.’’