It is all cranes and concrete at the moment in downtown Invercargill, with 55 staff now onsite for the City Block development.
Invercargill Central Limited public relations manager Amy Hibbs said 180 cubic metres of concrete was poured yesterday for the foundations of the East building, in the shopping centre along Esk Street.
Amalgamated Builders Ltd (ABL) has the construction contract for the $165 million project, which is expected to create up to 175 jobs for the city, with the development opening in May 2022.
The project is being divided into three stages with different teams working on each stage.
Before Christmas, precast walls started to go up for the Farmers building, and car park foundations were poured.
Amy said 60% of the concrete precast panels have been erected for the Farmers building, and
nine columns were in place for the car park – with another 80 to go.
“A third crane has arrived at the site to help with dual lifts for the columns.”
The CBD block will eventually have a food and beverage precinct, specialty stores, apartments, offices and carparks.
A day after the announcement that $10 million of Government money was heading south for City Block, developer Scott O’Donnell is a happy man.
“We had no expectation of any money, but any money makes it easier,” he said.
With the Invercargill City Council also agreeing this week to invest $46 million into Invercargill Central Ltd, that made it two lots of good news in seven days.
Scott said the Government funding meant there would now be more shares or $10 million equity in the ICL company.
The new package of infrastructure investments was proposed by the Government to help kick-start the post-Covid rebuild, by creating more than 20,000 jobs nationwide and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects.
The City Block fund will be create around 350 jobs and was part of a $90 million total package for Southland.
Otago was allocated $260 million.
City Block will be created with a range of dining offerings, retail space for large anchor retailers and smaller boutique stores, a covered, multi-storey car park with 625 parking spaces, open air internal laneways and outdoor dining spaces within the precinct, and additional office space and apartments, which will see an additional 1500 people in the CBD every day.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones yesterday outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the COVID Response and Recovery Fund will be allocated across regions, following extensive engagement with local councils and businesses.
“This is about creating jobs as we recover and rebuild from the recession caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Because we went hard and early with our health response, we’ve been able to open up the economy quicker than other countries and get a head start on our recovery,” Mr Robertson said.