Gaire Thompson: Retail interest for soon to be vacant Invercargill building
Kavinda Herath / Stuff
The building in Invercargill which the Farmers department store currently lease. It is scheduled to vacate the building in July and become anchor tenant in the new muilti-million dollar city block development.
Property owner Gaire Thompson remains confident his two-storey Dee St building won’t sit empty for too long when current tenant Farmers move out in the coming months.
The Farmers department store currently occupies both floors of the Dee St building which Thompson owns.
However, Farmers will soon shift and become the new anchor tenant in Invercargill’s multi-mullion dollar city block development. The main entrance to the new Farmers store will be from Esk St, through the old Southland Times building facade.
Farmers was initially scheduled to open in its new location on June 10. However, the opening date has been pushed back after contractors lost about 10,000 hours with workers isolating because of Covid-19.
* Invercargill property owners continue to jostle for prospective tenants
* Discussions with potential Invercargill city block development tenants ongoing
A new opening date has yet to be sorted, but there is hope it will be in July.
Thompson confirmed Farmers had extended its lease in the current Dee St location by a couple of months.
He was working with potential new tenants for the building once Farmers did vacate, and he hoped to have some more detail locked in soon.
He said national retail businesses, who are not already operating in Invercargill, have shown interest in leasing parts of the bottom floor of the building.
“We’ve got several we are dealing with, we’ve just got to work out appropriate rents and terms, but we have got interest,” Thompson said.
He expected there would be a period where the building would be empty when Farmers did move out.
“We will have to do a wee bit of work. We’ll need a bit of time to build things and alter things. ”
While there was positive interest in the bottom floor Thompson said filling the top floor was a trickier assignment.
“There is interest from a crowd for perhaps the whole top floor. It’s obviously the harder part to lease, so we will see how that is going to work. ”
Nelson-based Thompson owns a significant amount of commercial property in Invercargill.
He did own the Menzies Building but sold it in 2021 to hotelier Geoff Thomson who plans to transform it into a 150-room 4.5 star hotel.
During that time Thompson added the Invercargill Railway Station to its portfolio of properties and has been carrying out some work to make that a more appealing place for different business tenants.