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New beginning . . . A concept plan of a new retail space to replace the building on the corner of High and Good Streets, Rangiora. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By SHELLEY TOPP

A large new retail space is planned to replace the big building on the corner of High Street and Good Street in Rangiora.

The old building will be demolished in April to make way for the new development.

The new building, owned by Wightman Properties Limited, will have retail frontages on High Street and the Good Street walkway.

The old building is home to the Rangiora Pharmacy, High Street Living and the Rangiora Foot Clinic in High Street and Vivo Hair Salon and the Good Street Deli in Good Street.

It is uncertain at this stage whether these tenants will be returning to the new space.

The old building was damaged during the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Since then the fate of the building has been in limbo with the owners involved in long and difficult negotiations with Vero Insurance.

Colin Wightman, co-ordinator of the project, said it had been a “difficult road” taking six years to get to this point. The insurance negotiations had been an “absolute nightmare,” he said.

However, it was now an exciting time for the company looking forward to the construction of a new purpose-built retail space in a prime position in the Rangiora central business district area.

There had already been a lot of interest in the project, he said.

There will be provision for six to eight smaller retail outlets, “boutique-type businesses” in the new building, in keeping with the development of Rangiora as a friendly, small-town shopping alternative to the big city malls, Mr Wightman said.

The 1081.34 square metre building will be built by Miles Construction Limited and was designed by Jenni Snowdon, the Christchurch company’s senior architectural designer. It is expected to be completed by November this year.

Mr Wightman said the old building was originally a clothing store owned by C.J. Smith.

“My father Bob Wightman bought it off the Smiths,” he said.

Thereafter it was known as “Bob Wightman’s building” and had been in the family for 35 plus years.

The development will provide a huge improvement to the look of the Good Street walkway. The area has been earmarked by the Waimakariri District Council for a revamp for sometime but uncertainty over the fate of the old building had delayed the start of that work.

Mr Wightman said they were keen to be involved in the upgrade of Good Street and intended to introduce a “natural-looking facade” to their new building to tie in with the North Canterbury theme.

The upgrade of the Good Street walkway is likely to include a scented garden after a public survey showed a large number of people supported the idea.