A local developer is looking to reshape Ashburton’s triangle.
Robert Grice Properties has big plans for a major redevelopment along Victoria Street.
The area known as The Triangle is a historic retail precinct in Ashburton, made up of the intersecting sections of Victoria, Cass and Cameron streets, and where developer Justin Skilling has already been busy renovating some of the old buildings.
Grice owns a number of buildings on the street that require earthquake strengthening and has plans to redevelop the existing shops into “an exciting new mixed use hospitality precinct” named The Ash.
The “cluster of turn-of-the-century buildings” will be extensively re-developed to provide a market style series of retail and hospitality areas while attempting to retain the heritage look of the street.
The vision is for a miniature version of the Riverside Market development in Christchurch he said, with the likes of a deli, florist and barbershop all under the same roof, and a separate bar with an outdoor courtyard area.
He stresses it’s just a concept for now and the plan may change as they are looking at a lot of options.
“We are looking for an operator and when we find one we will push the next button.
“Exactly when we do it we are not certain but it will be in the near future.”
What is certain is that the required earthquake strengthening work is about to be completed on the buildings.
“We’ll have ours up to the 34% [of the New Building Standard – below which buildings are classed as being earthquake prone] in the next four weeks or so.
“Once we get an operator [for the development] we will go for the total renovation.
“In the short term we are just taking it to 34%, but we want to go to about 78% when we do the proper strengthening.”
Grice owns a larger strip of Victoria Street after buying two of the vacant properties off developer Justin Skilling to provide more room for his planned redevelopment.
With the work set to begin next month, two businesses are moving out.
Material Time, which has operated in various locations in the centre of Ashburton for 25 years is set to close at the end of the month as is Unisex Cuts which has been in The Triangle for 13 years.
The Triangle has already undergone a transformation with Skilling redeveloping several of his sites.
The Ashburton District Council’s economic development, planning, building and property teams have been working with the developers in The Triangle precinct to assist in the development and attraction of new and expanded businesses, economic development manager Simon Worthington said.
The first stage of Skilling’s development involved the Triangle Café and earthquake strengthening refurbishment of other buildings.
“The recent developments will see Smoke Restaurant and Butchery established, as well as a sister restaurant to Formosa that specialises in desserts and cocktails called The Rabbit,” Worthington said.
A beauty parlour is also coming to The Triangle in August, moving into the old Plunket building at 111 Victoria Street, with the Methven-based Berry Beauty Co. opening up a second location.
- By Jonathan Leask