January, 2021After three years of planning and nearly a year of deconstruction and
reconstruction, work on the OConnells building in central Queenstown
is starting to sprint to the finish-line.
The steelwork for the mountain range-shaped canopies wrapping around
its Camp and Beach Street frontages is starting to appear, while the grey
acoustic panels around its exterior will soon start coming down.
Project manager Bruce Halligan, of Naylor Love, says about 65 people
are working on the building, and that number will increase to more than
100 as work ramps up over the next few months.
In about a month, the tower crane sitting in the middle of the building
will be removed piece by piece, over two nights, by a 300-tonne mobile
crane brought in especially for the job, Halligan says.
He estimates two-thirds of the original building remains basically, its
foundations and skeleton but it will be unrecognisable inside and
The Skyline Enterprises-owned shopping centre will have a revamped
food hall on the ground floor, retail space on the first floor, and office
space on the top two floors.
The companys property manager, Alastair Clifford, says Covids been a
double-edged sword for the project.
In terms of the building work, the timings meant a minimal impact on
the local community, but theres a flip-side in terms of finding
The redevelopments on schedule for completion in mid-August, but its
reopening originally forecast for November is highly likely to be
delayed, Clifford says.
With Covid-19 continuing to impact the investment decisions of
potential tenants, marketing of the new space wont fully
recommence until theres greater certainty, and the company would
prefer the food hall and retail floors to be fully tenanted first.
Because many of the buildings future visitors will be overseas tourists,
Skyline and its consultants are thinking hard about the impact of living
with Covid on their personal habits and expectations, and how best to
translate that into the buildings final details, he says.
Source: Mountain Scene
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