Businessman Doug Spence has bought the former Mitre 10 building in Bishopdale which has sat empty for two years.
Mr Spence has been behind a number of developments in Christchurch and is also currently looking to build a retail complex in Church Bay.
His plans for the Mitre 10 site in the village mall may be revealed today.
Bishopdale Centre Association for Bishopdale Village Businesses chairwoman Amanda Nuttall is meeting with Mr Spence today to discuss his plans. She would not reveal those to Nor’West News.
Mr Spence did not return calls to Nor’West News.
He is the owner of the Bishopdale New World site and has had involvement with the New World Group, Paper Plus Group and Foodstuffs, including purchasing Pak’nSave Moorhouse Ave in 1991.
Mitre 10 was once an “anchor” tenant of the mall but closed in August 2016 when it moved to Papanui and became Mitre 10 Mega.
Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board deputy chairman Aaron Campbell said the closure of the store significantly reduced the number of shoppers coming to the mall and had an “obvious knock-on effect.”
Owner of the neighbouring Sports World, Tony Ralfe, is pleased something will finally happen to the site.
“We need someone in there to try and bring people back to Bishopdale, whether it’s going to be one big outfit or split into a multiple number of businesses – the sooner, the better. I’m keen to see something that will attract the public,” he said.
In its Long Term Plan submission to the city council, the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board put emphasis on the need to regenerate Bishopdale.
“A major contributor to the regeneration of Bishopdale is the Bishopdale Village Mall. The mall is a key suburban retail and social precinct in the Harewood Ward that services not just the local area but visitors from wider afield,” said the submission.
It called for the demolition of the old Plunket rooms, which are now under the building code and unusable, beautifying of the city council-owned space and the installation of new public toilets.