Tuesday, August 13, 2019, marked a significant occasion in Invercargill’s history, with a unanimous decision from the Invercargill City Council to invest in the centre city’s redevelopment.
After a last-minute debate, the decision went to vote, and 11 councillors plus Mayor Tim Shadbolt were in favour of the development. Councillor Lindsay Thomas abstained from voting due to being on the board of HWCP’s joint venture.
Invercargill City Council will now invest $25 million in the project. Up to $25 million would go toward the three stages, an additional $5 million for possible design changes, and $25 million set aside for streetscape.
HWCP Management Limited director Scott O’Donnell, who has been one of the driving forces behind the project, said it’s “great that Council got the vision and voted to support this much-needed rejuvenation of our city”.
He planned to have the remaining investors signed up by the end of August; then demolition would begin after that.
Scott says that two retail tenants had signed up so far, but most would come on board once the funding had been confirmed.
While ICC had agreed to invest in three stages of the build, there were an additional three which were reliant on the completion of the first. The HWR office building, a medical centre/civic centre, and accommodation made up the final stages, of which thousands of people were expected to benefit.
Southland Chamber of Commerce CEO Sheree Carey says the Chamber is pleased about the ICC’s decision to proceed.
“This is a transformative time for our city, and we look forward to supporting our members through the redevelopment process…the end result will be a heart to our city.
“We should also be grateful to the tireless efforts of Scott O’Donnell and Geoff Thompson over the past few years to drive this incredible project.”
Note: This story has been updated.