The proposed new 3000sq m Countdown supermarket is good news for Alexandra, shows confidence in the growth in the area, and will bring more jobs to the town, business group secretary Stu Millis says.
Countdown has confirmed it hopes to build a new supermarket and car park in Centennial Ave, Alexandra, subject to resource consent.
The company is working with local developer, CPD 2012 Ltd.
A smaller-sized supermarket confirmed to be built in Balclutha is expected to generate about 80 new jobs and the Alexandra business may provide a similar number.
The proposed site is between Centennial Ave and Ventry St, north of Centennial Court Motor Inn.
Nine tenanted houses on the land have been acquired. Mr Millis, the Alexandra Clyde and Districts Business Group secretary, said building a new supermarket was positive for the region as there was enough growth to support both Countdown and New World and there would be a flow-on effect for other businesses.
The new supermarket would also attract more people into Alexandra from as far away as Millers Flat and Ranfurly to do their grocery shopping.
‘‘They will do other shopping as well [while they are here].’’
He said as more people came into town, other businesses would also benefit.
The move might also encourage new businesses to be established, particularly those offering services which did not have to compete with online shopping, and would be ideal for some of the vacant shops in the town.
CPD Ltd company representative Simon Wearing, of ICL Chartered Accountants, said he expected to submit the resource consent application to the Central Otago District Council within the next few weeks.
He said the final decision about whether CPD Ltd and Countdown would go ahead with the development would be made once they had worked through the consent process and received the council’s decision.
‘‘However, CPD 2012 Ltd is excited to be a part of a potential development to bring a full-service Countdown supermarket to Alexandra,’’ Mr Wearing said.
‘‘The site ticks all the boxes for Countdown.
‘‘In terms of a timeframe, once we have the resource consent there is still a significant design, construction and fit-out process to work through before the store opens and that could take up to 18 months.’’
Mr Wearing said the company was looking at various options for the nine houses, including relocating them.
‘‘Late last year we engaged with some parties we identified as being affected by the potential development and are currently considering their feedback,’’ he said.
Countdown format and property general manager Jason Stockill said they had received a lot of requests to bring a supermarket to Alexandra during the past few years.
‘‘We know there is a lot of interest in having another [supermarket] choice in town,’’ Mr Stockill said.
As the proposed supermarket was subject to resource consent, it was too early to confirm any further details including the number of staff required, and when work would begin.
‘‘If the consent is approved, we’ll be able to plan and confirm timings with the community including employment opportunities and other details.’’
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said it was great news for the Alexandra area.
‘‘This will be another major construction project occurring on Centennial Avenue near the significant new Toyota showroom being built and shows the positive light in which the Vincent area is seen by national and multi-national businesses,’’ Mr Cadogan said.
New World supermarket owner Kevin Ryan said he had been expecting the arrival of another supermarket for the past 10 years.
Mr Ryan said Countdown had been moving into Cromwell, Queenstown, Wanaka and Balclutha as well as Alexandra.
‘‘It is a sign Alexandra is growing more popular, although not as fast as Cromwell and Wanaka.’’
★ Central Otago District Council planning manager David Campbell said a non-notified consent would take 20 working days to process, whereas a notified consent took about three months.