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Big plans to revitalise old Kensington supermarket site

11 Mar 2019, 8:53 AM

Formal Registrations of Interest (ROI) are now being sought for a multimillion redevelopment to breathe new life into the council-owned former Countdown supermarket site in Kensington, Whangarei.

The Northland Regional Council (NRC) has been working with development partner, Argyle Estates Ltd on a deal to transform the Kensington Ave site into a suburban centre, split into a number of new, smaller tenancies.

Penny Smart, who chairs the council’s Property Subcommittee, says prospective tenants are already being signed up for the planned redevelopment, which would include a combination of ‘medical and convenience retail’ in a refurbished existing building.

“There may also be a new-build childcare centre at the northern part of the site.”

Council Deputy Chairman David Sinclair (one of two councillors who represents the NRC’s Whangarei Urban constituency) says the high-profile corner property has been vacant for several years and it’s expected the project will inject new life into the area.

Councillor Smart today (Monday 11 March) reiterated that expectation, saying people had told the council they would value commercial and retail activity at the long-vacant site.

“Current and previous councillors have contemplated assorted options over the years and my colleagues and I believe this proposed redevelopment is an ideal vehicle to restore some much-needed energy to this area and its local community.”

The property will be retained in full council ownership as a tenanted investment property as part of the council’s wider property portfolio, which significantly subsidises rates and council activities.

Councillor Smart says Argyle Estates Ltd has already applied for the Resource Consent and had today begun formally calling for Registrations of Interest from suitably qualified contractors for the head construction contractor role.

“This ROI – which runs until 4pm Wednesday 27 March – is an important first step in a multi-step procurement process. From this month’s ROI process, we hope to get a short-list of three to five suitable contractors who in April will then be offered a full design brief dubbed a ‘Request for Tender’ (RFT) for them to quote on.”

“Council will make final tenancy mix and design decisions before mid-year and, if a decision to proceed is made, select a contractor.”

Councillor Smart says documents for the ROI process can be downloaded from the Government Electronic Tender Service website www.gets.govt.nz with the reference RFx ID: 20808156.

An impression of the proposed Kensington redevelopment.

An impression of the proposed Kensington redevelopment.