Like all good things, it takes time, and healthy doses of planning and money.
That’s the short summary of the Invercargill Business Park, the brain child of local builder, developer Russell Cunningham. The long time builder developer grabbed what was the Invercargill Showgrounds when the Southland A&P Association had enough of the deteriorating facilities and decided to relocate.
Russell Cunningham had a vision for what will definitely become a premier commercial hub of Invers. That vision is now turning into reality in no uncertain terms.
At Russell Cunningham Properties Ltd office on Arena Drive, general manager Vicki Corkill readily explains what is on the go at the expansive site.
A majestic aerial photo of the 1963 Royal Show being held at the former show grounds hangs in the boardroom.
The photograph shows the difference in years from 1963 to the present day.
Mrs Corkill says Russell Cunningham invested millions on getting the spadework done to get the sites ready for sale. That included getting all services, including fibre, to all the sections.
She says it’s been a journey to get to this point but they have overcome some obstacles like the Global Financial Crisis of just a few years ago.
Across the road where the Centennial Hall proudly stood site work preparation is underway for what will be Farmlands flagship base. Construction is expected to start before the end of March.
The plans show a supermarket next door on Victoria Avenue although Vicki Corkill says confirmation of that is some way off.
Next door, earthmoving equipment is being used to get a site ready for a large office complex which Farmers Mutual Group will call home along with several other tenants which are yet to be confirmed. The site will have an abundance of car parking.
Progressive Engineering’s new base is rapidly taking shape at the bottom of Victoria Ave. Several other businesses that were elsewhere in the city have relocated to new premises in the business park including AJ Auto Electronics, Windsor Brass, Toothworks, Opus, McAlister Law and DoHair.
As for future development the site map shows that several sections have the “sold” sign across them. Mrs Corkill says another two sections have been snapped up in recent weeks.
She says interest is strong in the remaining unsold sections at the Business Park.
Why has all this activity suddenly come about? Vicki Corkill explains that each business has its own time frame for development and a lot of time, energy and money is spent getting it all together. She says it just so happens that most of it has come together at roughly the same time.
When asked about the total value of the work in progress, Vicki Corkill says it’s estimated to be in excess of ten million dollars.
She says an upside of that is that it’s mainly local businesses employing local people that have been engaged to do the roll up yer sleeve, shovels and diggers, hammer and nail stuff. That is pleasing news especially when the dairy sector is going through some turbulent times.
Developments like this show that the commercial landscape of Invers is changing quickly and the Invercargill Business Park may in time be the new commercial hub of our city.