Opinion: The consent hearing period for HWCP’s inner-city redevelopment has just closed but there is still work to be done. It may seem like a time where we take a step back and wait for an outcome, but it is in fact the opposite.
Like so many, the Chamber is waiting with anticipation to see who will take up retail space in the redevelopment. These announcements are some time away but in the interim we need to be spending our local coin with our local retailers.
Having a brand-new CBD will bring so many benefits; it creates a heart, brings people in to a centre, and will transform Invercargill.
But with this time of transformation ahead we need to actively ensure we do what we can to support retailers during the period of redevelopment.
Southlanders, we need to get behind the retailers in the community between now, the construction and the opening to ensure they have a future in the new development.
Fundamentally, this change is going to change the face of retail in Southland. There will be a wider offering, more options and more people in a bustling heart of Southland.
This does mean competition, but competition is healthy in a thriving economy. This redevelopment is a necessary lever to support Southland to take its position as an economic leader.
A new CBD will herald a new beginning for our region – let’s give it the best start it can have by supporting inner city retailers and making sure it’s coming into a growing economy with excited people.
Sheree Carey is the CEO of Southland Chamber of Commerce.
You can make your submission on the city redevelopment here