Farmers’ development to boost WBOP economy

Artist's impression of the new building. Photo: Ignite Architects

The Farmers’ corner redevelopment looks set to pump millions of dollars into the Western Bay economy, with up to 400 local subcontractors and businesses expected to help construct the landmark new retail and residential complex.

Elizabeth Properties Limited - part of the James Pascoe Group that owns Farmers - today announced that the local branch of the construction firm Hawkins, Tauranga-based Jensen Steel Fabricators, and many other Western Bay contractors will be involved in the project.

Company representative Brett Nicholls says Elizabeth Properties is committed to using local contractors where possible as part of a commitment to the Western Bay economy.

“Farmers opened its first store in Tauranga in 1921 and, as part of our long-term commitment to the region, we feel it is only fitting that we should involve as many local companies as possible in the project.”

Elizabeth Properties will spend more than $100 million on the redevelopment, and much of that will go to local industry, resources and talent.

Hawkins’ role as the main building partner was announced today. Jensen Steel and local branches of major architecture, engineering and project management firms will also be heavily involved.

Hawkins confirmed that it will have up to 30 staff involved in the redevelopment and that, at its busiest, the project will also involve up to 400 subcontractors.

“We’re really pleased to be working on the Farmers project,” says Hawkins Central Regional Manager Pete McCawe.

“There is some significant excavation and ground work to be done to create the basement carparking, which will be a good challenge.”

Hawkins has 80 staff working in the Tauranga area, with operations run from an office at Tauriko that is shared with parent company Downer.

Hawkins is working on the Stage 2 retail component of The Crossing, the University of Waikato’s new Tauranga CBD tertiary campus and Zespri’s new head office in Mt Maunganui, all of which are due for completion in 2019.

Hawkins also worked on Stage 1 of the Tauranga Crossing retail component, which won a Silver award in the retail category at the New Zealand Commercial Project Awards on May 18.

“We’re looking forward to getting stuck in as the project progresses,” says Pete.

Brett says Hawkins had impressed Elizabeth Properties with the quality and pace of its work on the University of Waikato’s new campus, which is one year ahead of schedule.

“We want to reopen Farmers within two years to provide certainty to staff and customers and to help reinvigorate Tauranga’s CBD.

“That’s an accelerated timeframe, but Western Bay contractors and workers have proven that they have the drive and talent to deliver.”


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