Swanson Retail Development
Having survived one unsuccessful challenge in court, the Swanson Retail Development at Fonuakula is ready to get underway according to a statement from the developers. When completed in seven month’s time, the new complex will house Swanson Supermarket and the government Bond Store as anchor tenants. In addition, there is space for 10 retail outlets or office varying in size from 50 to 100 square metres.
At its current location in the middle of the main village of Alofi, parking is often a problem at Swanson; at the new location, parking space will be available for up to 75 vehicles, furthermore there will be. . . “covered and all weather access to the entire complex.” There will also be …” recreational areas including secure children’s playground and sheltered outdoor seating for the community to enjoy.”
As an anchor tenant for the new facility, the government-owned Bond Store will occupy a purpose built 200 square metres outlet with a walk in chiller “designed for the customer” according to the statement.
The supermarket Swanson will have 800 square meters of retail space and a purpose built warehousing to match. The statement goes on to say that Swanson Supermarket will remain 100% Niuean operated. The parent company WH Grove and Sons is 100% New Zealand owned.
Swanson Supermarket General Manager Amanda Pita confirmed to Tala Niue today that materials for the project will arrive in the next two months and the actual construction will begin at that time. Negotiations are continuing with a contractor to carry out the work.
Meantime interest is growing from businesses who are looking for space at the new centre according to Amanda Pita. Anyone who has an interest is being encouraged to fill in a form at this stage.
No decision has yet been made on the premises in Alofi once the new complex is opened. The current premises are being shared between Swanson Supermarket and BJ Hardware.
While there is some concern that two major businesses are relocating away from the main village of Alofi and that the new complex will be competing with the Commercial Centre, most people are looking forward to seeing something new. The one thing that should not pose any problems at the new complex is parking.
Pictured at right is the Industrial Park built with the intention of housing businesses dislocated by Cyclone Heta in 2004. Unfortunately, it has not been the hive activity that the planner had intended. The premises has largely ended up being used as a storage facility. (Paku – the Planner should have put a bit more thought into this park…)
The development right next door of the Swanson complex may act as a catalyst for breathing new life into a very tired looking Industrial Park.