As Lakewood Cambridge takes shape and its first two blocks approach completion there is plenty of anticipation about the development’s impact on the town.
The mixed-use development on 3ha of land overlooking Lake Te Ko Utu is regarded as one of the most significant opportunities for Cambridge’s flourishing business scene for many years.
With the central business district under pressure as the town’s business sector booms, Lakewood provides much needed commercial and retail space as well as sought after apartment and townhouse accommodation.
Greenstone Group director Robert Dol says the first two blocks of the development are nearing completion. They comprise 16 pre-sold apartments with fully leased retail on the ground floor.
One block will comprise a Superliqour, Pita Pit, Bay Audiology, The Coffee Club, men’s barber and a sushi restaurant. The other block will comprise Snap Fitness, Nyriad, Vivo Hear and IT Repair outlet, MTF, Hells Pizza and Epiphany Donuts.
Construction of a motel is to begin July 2018, scheduled for completion mid-next year. During that time another block comprising a restaurant and other food outlets will also be completed. Other features of the development yet to be constructed are a medical centre, child care centre and 31 townhouses.
Most of Lakewood Cambridge’s commercial centre will be opened by the end of next year.
Waipa District Council economic development manager Steve Tritt says Lakewood will add 10 percent to Cambridge’s gross floor area for retail.
“Lakewood is going to be a big opportunity for us in terms of our ability to grow our CBD and cater for the extra pressure on our CBD and parking.”
Steve can envisage the opportunity over time to infill the area between the CBD and Lakewood and more opportunity to provide more retail space.
Cambridge Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tania Witheford says Lakewood utilises land which has not been well used before is “really moving along”.
“It’s really coming to fruition now. What we will need once it’s built is a great connector. We need to provide clean lines and make it easy and safe to walk between Lakewood and town.”
Robert Dol says the uptake at Lakewood Cambridge has been excellent and there are only eight tenancies left to lease in the whole development. Extensive market research before its inception showed there was a void for it to fill.
“The market analysis we did showed there was actually quite a big hole in terms of food and beverage in Cambridge. That’s pretty much been testament to the uptake we’ve had. There’s also much office demand, with lots of people running out of houses for offices. And as businesses grow they are looking for larger and a more professional images.”
Robert says the medical centre’s extended hours will cater for a community needing longer GP services.
He envisages Lakewood will help to prevent a lot of Cambridge’s “retail leakage” to towns such as Hamilton, Morrinsville and Te Awamutu.