Remaining businesses in CBD block set to vacate

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The city block ear-marked for a $160m retail precinct in Invercargill's CBD. Photo: Petrina Wright

THE move is on as the last remaining businesses in Invercargill’s CBD prepare to vacate the inner city block earmarked for demolition.

HWCP Management Ltd plans to demolish almost the entire block bordered by Tay, Kelvin, Esk and Dee Sts to develop a $160m retail precinct with more than 40 businesses, office spaces and a food precinct.

Most of the businesses in the block have moved out.

Some businesses like Venom Hair Salon, The Barbers and Bonsai Restaurant had successfully relocated. Others like Suzy Qs Tapas Kitchen and Bar and Zookeepers had closed.

The Southland Express sought to find out what was happening with the handful of Southland-owned businesses which still remain.

After more than a year of searching, Pinch of Spice Indian restaurant was still without a new home.

“The hunt is still on,” owner Manish Singh said.

HWCP Management staff were working with him to find an alternative site, but it had been a long and stressful process, he said.

“I can’t afford to close.”

Owners of Stirling Sports had also found the relocation process stressful.

“At one stage, closing the store had been an option,” co-owner Ken Anderson said.

However, they had now secured alternative premises in the new Kmart development on Clyde St.

Stirling Sports owner Ken Anderson outside his Esk St store. Photo: Petrina Wright

Mr Anderson said they were delighted to be moving into the new Kmart complex.

“It has been a couple of years of stress so it is good to have it resolved,” he said.

“We are really thrilled. We have got somewhere very exciting to be.”

They hoped to move within the next six weeks, and would continue to trade in Esk St until then.

“It has all worked out fantastically well.”

Turkish Kebabs manager Farhan Malik said it had been very difficult to find new premises, so they had decided to buy the A la Turka restaurant located at 91 Dee St.

“It had been really hard for us to buy the business and move our shop there,” Mr Malik said.

The restaurant would continue to operate as Turkish Kebabs.

Les Sheikh Hair Design owner Richelle Holland said she had identified a potential alternative premise within the CBD.

“We have no confirmed location, but we have a very good option that we are working on… and it’s looking very positive.

“I insisted we stayed [in the CBD] because we sell a lot of walk-in retail, so we need to be in town.”

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