Hospitality sector shows strong interest in Te Ana Marina’s Woolstore
Strong interest from local and national breweries, the seafood industry and an award-winning restaurateur could see Te Ana Marina’s new Woolstore development in Lyttelton become the newest hospitality hub in Christchurch.
Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) has completed the development of Canterbury’s only walk-on floating marina and is refurbishing the Woolstore in Te Ana in a vibrant waterfront commercial development.
As part of stage one of the commercial development, the existing Woolstore adjacent to the waterfront, is being renovated. The building will include 720 square metres of ground floor space in a range of flexible tenancy sizes up to a maximum of 400 square metres in any one tenancy.
Craig Edwards of commercial real estate firm Knight Frank said growing interest from local business operators clearly indicated the Woolstore could be a people-focused hospitality hub.
“The strong feedback we have received from the market is that the Woolstore will be a quality hospitality venue, not a retail strip,” he said.
“We’re not going to end up with a butcher, a pharmacy and a pet store. It’s going to have a unique hospitality feel.”
Te Ana Marina is LPC’s first step toward regenerating the Inner Harbour as a vibrant community-focused destination with connections to the Lyttelton township. LPC owns and manages the 170-berth marina and associated commercial facilities.
Knight Frank recently completed a preliminary appraisal of rental values for spaces available at the Woolstore and canvassed a wide range of potential occupiers to evaluate interest.
“Rental rates at Te Ana are expected to be competitive and attractive to business operators,” said Mr Edwards.
“It’s well worth the investment for business owners, particularly given the value of the location and facility. We envisage that tenants will mostly feature locally-owned established businesses. They’re passionate people who have a clear point of difference in the market. Franchise businesses and larger hospitality operators, especially expanding craft beer brewers, have been very positive. We’ve also made good headway with some experts within the marine brokerage industry.”
LPC Marketing Manager Simon Munt said the Port Company would provide excellent value to business operators.
“Much of the work has already been done so it’s the perfect time for businesses to invest and complete their fit-outs in preparation for a spring opening,” he said.
“There’s ample opportunity for businesses to create truly unique spaces because the development is still very much a blank canvas. We want to co-ordinate our activities to attract the right mix of operators to ensure a vibrant and successful portside commercial development.
“Every ground floor tenant will have expansive views over the marina and will benefit from a captive audience of marina users as well as a pedestrian link connecting Te Ana Marina to Lyttelton.”
Mr Munt said Te Ana Marina would become a thriving business area attracting locals and visitors with the considerable convenience of on-site parking.
“We are pleased to be hosting visiting boats that call in and use the marina on a casual berth hire basis. Before the marina was built these visitors may have bypassed Lyttelton,” said Mr Munt.
Lyttelton Harbour Business Association Chairman Rob De Thier said increased exposure to new markets generated by the Port’s various developments was “encouraging for the Lyttelton business community.”
“We are already experiencing the overflow of foot traffic from the arrival of major international cruise ships this year, and it’s not just passengers, it’s the crew members as well,” he said.
In a similar fashion, Te Ana Marina tripled its capacity to accommodate yachts and other pleasure crafts, which Mr De Thier has no doubt will “generate more foot traffic” in Lyttelton’s town centre.
“Through our discussions with the Port, we really wanted to ensure there was a strong connection between the business community in Lyttelton and Te Ana Marina. The Port has always been very supportive of this vision and we look forward to continuing our work with LPC to ensure this eventuates,” he said. “Te Ana Marina will have a positive impact on Lyttelton’s economy. It’s a great resource that beautifies the whole area.”
The existing Woolstore is currently being strengthened and upgraded as part of the marina’s development and many of the unique characteristics of the original building will be retained. The marina’s administration offices, berth-holder amenities and public washroom facilities will also be accommodated at the Woolstore.
For Te Ana Marina berth holder and yacht owner Viki Moore the building’s delicate nod to history is a welcome touch.
“Lyttelton has a vibrant maritime past and it’s nice to see the Te Ana Marina incorporate the historical fabric of the area,” she said. “It’s so important to retain our history, especially in Christchurch, because so much has been destroyed and demolished. Some of the landscaping around Te Ana Marina already includes what looks like sections of old timber piles and exposed rail lines, which really adds local character.”
As the President of the Little Ship Club of Canterbury, a board member of Yachting New Zealand and avid sailing blogger, Ms Moore believes Te Ana Marina will encourage more boats to return to Canterbury.
“From a boat owner’s perspective, the facilities we’ve had for the last 18 years have been substandard and I believe this hampered the growth of yachting in Canterbury. The Te Ana Marina development is definitely encouraging the wider boating community to visit Christchurch and enjoy the Banks Peninsula area,” she said.
“The Woolstore will be a brilliant public space that we’ve never had before. It’s going to be a great community asset and something that we can all be proud of, not just sailors, but the people of Lyttelton and wider Canterbury region.”
More than 140 berths, housing various boats from powerboats, to mono-hull yachts, catamarans and launches, have already been leased at Te Ana Marina and boat owners are encouraged to contact Te Ana Marina should they wish to license a berth.
— ENDS —
For further information, please contact: Allanah James | Strategic Communications Manager | Lyttelton Port Company on M: +64 21 709 652 | E: Allanah.James@lpc.co.nz