Building a retail and food hub while a pandemic sweeps the world would hold most projects up, but the River Crossing development on South Street has overcome every hurdle and is on schedule to open by the end of the year.
The eagerly awaited development, with Kmart as the anchor tenant, will be opening its doors in time for Christmas shopping.
Ashburton family owned property investment business Tricroft is behind the development with Timaru-based Thompson Construction and Engineering building the complex and Ashburton Contracting Limited (ACL) taking care of the civil services.
Tricroft director Sally Carr said it was thanks to the contractors that the project has gone so smoothly and is set to be completed on schedule.
“The project overall is going really well and is on time, Thompsons have done a great job at keeping to the programme, they seem to be across everything, like all the procurement of materials which is such a big thing at the moment.”
There is no set date for the opening but Sally said it will be later this year, before Christmas.
Walking inside the structure you get an idea of the scale of the Kmart store, and why it is the biggest building project Tricroft has tackled to date.
“This is big for us, we’re just a small business in terms of our number of people,” Sally said.
The Kmart building and four front tenancies covers a whopping 4,465m2, with 3,636m2 the Kmart selling floor.
The challenge for customers visiting River Crossing will be what food choice to make, with some well loved brands setting up shop like Coupland’s Bakery, Tank Juice and St Pierre’s Sushi.
A separate standalone building, which has just started construction, will accommodate more food and beverage outlets including Joe’s Garage, Sal’s Pizza and Coffee Culture with two more spaces to fill.
The main building is completely enclosed and Sally said they are fitting out the ventilation system and working on the entrance. “The entrance way is complex, getting that closed-in is quite a lot of work, this is all very specific to Kmart and what they want.”
An electric vehicle station will be included on site with provision for six vehicles.
-By Daniel Tobin