New motel & retail development for Cambridge CBD

26 September 2016

A new boutique motel to be built in Cambridge is set to ease growing congestion and bring the Waipa town its first mechanical car park stacker.

The $6.2 million development in Alpha Street will comprise a 20-room boutique motel built on top of 226sqm of much-needed office and retail space. An added feature new to Cambridge is the planned undercover car parking area which will make use of the town's first mechanical car parking stacker. And in a nod to Cambridge's cycle-centric character, there will also be a secure area for bicycles.

An existing but run-down art-deco style building currently on the 814 square metre site is to be demolished to make way for the new three-storey complex.

News of the project went public last month once resource consent was granted to the Hamilton-based developers, Alpha Street Developments. Almost as soon as the billboard went up, inquiries began coming in.

Almost as soon as the billboard went up on the site, leasing inquiries started coming in. The old art-deco house seen here is to be demolished.

Cambridge is one of the fastest-growing towns in the country. In recent years, it has faced increasing challenges linked to a shortage of both office/retail space and visitor accommodation, particularly during the growing number of events hosted in the region.

Alpha Street Developments director, Scott Massey said the level of interest in the space to be provided by the new build continued to be high.

“Inquiries around the retail and office areas have been excellent right from the start. As a result, we are talking closely to a number of potential tenants. We are not likely to have any trouble filling the space.”

The company had been looking to relocate its offices to Cambridge when it came across the land for sale, and according to Alpha Street Developments' spokesperson Olivia Fraser, they agreed to purchase it late last year.

She said that since then, the company had worked closely with Cambridge-based KTB Planning Consultants, and said they had done “a wonderful job”.

KTB Planner, Daisy Ager said they were engaged initially to do a scoping assessment of the site, and to provide the developers with a summary of the Waipa Proposed District Plan requirements, an assessment of the site history, and an assessment of the potential options for the site. The latter included suggestions around potential pedestrian and vehicle access to the site.

“Once Alpha Street Developments decided to proceed, we were engaged to work with them and Stiles and Hooker during the design stage, and then through into preparation of the resource consent application,” Daisy said. “We did come up against a few challenges.”

One was the discovery of a council wastewater pipe running through the rear of the property, requiring a solution that met council's development engineering standards. Another was the provision of sufficient parking, a problem that resulted in the decision to incorporate the council-approved stacked car approach.

Daisy said KTB Planning was supportive of a development they saw as one that “will add to Cambridge's economy by providing space for additional businesses, and for a motel that allows more people to stay in the town centre and benefit existing businesses”.

“The development ensures that as commercially-zoned land in the town centre, the site adds to the vitality and success of Cambridge.”

The development was described as “very welcome” by Cambridge Chamber of Commerce CEO, Tania Witheford. She was reported as having said it would make a significant contribution to Cambridge and provide more opportunity for growth and the ability to retain spend.
Construction will start next month and completion is expected in May/June 2017.

- Waikato Business News

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