Multi-million dollar development for Cambridge
Details of a multi-million dollar development, one of Cambridge’s biggest, have been released.
Lakewood Cambridge is set to straddle 3ha of bare land off Queen St and overlook Lake Te Ko Utu.
It has been designed, say the developers, to complement Cambridge’s look – to more effectively connect the ‘hidden’ lake with the town.
Construction work is expected to start later this year, with completion projected to be around a year later.
Ben Jones, development manager with the Greenstone Group, Lakewood’s project and development managers, said design work had been undertaken by Auckland-based Ignite Architects.
Each of the buildings would reflect Cambridge’s heritage, he said, with different materials used on each block to reference various parts of the town’s history.
“Character bricks will mimic the town hall, and wooden barn styled buildings will link to Cambridge’s strong equestrian heritage.
“It will fit well with Cambridge. The over-arching development strategy is to create an attractive mixed-used destination that links the ‘hidden’ lake and reserve with Cambridge’s character town.”
Jones said the development would make the most of Cambridge’s natural amenities, heritage town appeal, forecast regional growth and supplementary destination attractions, such as the Avantidrome, Lake Karapiro and Hobbiton.
Bringing Lakewood to fruition will be the Trig Group, an award-winning Hamilton-based family business known for developments such as Rototuna Village.
Trig directors Graeme Matangi and Gary Ilton said Lakewood was the largest development the company had taken on, and was probably one of the largest ever done in Cambridge.
They said the Waipa District Council had been very supportive and easy to deal with throughout.
Waipa District Mayor Jim Mylchreest believes Lakewood will be good for Cambridge.
“Council has taken a very strong interest in this development because we want what’s best for Cambridge long-term.
“It’s about rolling out the red carpet, not the red tape,” he said.
Equally supportive was Cambridge Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Tania Witheford.
She said the development would embrace a Cambridge asset – Lake te Ko Utu – and added: “It will help meet growing demand for retail and commercial space as well as car parking and accommodation. The key will be to ensure there is exceptional connection to the existing centre and where possible to encourage business that complements our unique offering.”
Lakewood has been strategically crafted around research findings by economic demographers Property Economics, who did a comprehensive audit of Cambridge’s existing retail and commercial property sector, and identified significant “shopping leakage”.
Property Economics found an average 57 per cent of Cambridge residents’ total shopping spend went outside the town, and Cambridge was short of almost 10,000 square metres of retail space.
“As a mixed-use development, the aim was to align it with what already works well in town, and target retailers who currently don’t have a presence,” Jones said.
“We have been targeting specific retailers for the development – areas identified as having high retail leakage include fashion (clothing, footwear, personal accessories), recreational goods, furniture/textiles (floor coverings, housewares), food and beverage, and in what is called large format retail – bigger stores such as paint shops or automotive suppliers.”
Two larger buildings are earmarked for large format retail, while smaller street level retail spaces will have views overlooking Lake Te Ko Utu, and the landscaped carpark area.
Two heritage-designed blocks earmarked for street level retail, called Lakewood Lodge and Lakewood Pavilions, are to feature a motel and apartments on the upper levels overlooking the lake. A boulevard along its northern façade will connect with the lake reserve and public walking tracks.
A playground area will be positioned close to Cambridge’s historic ‘kissing gate – which will remain where it is.
The gate is historically so-called because of the way it just ‘kissed’ the fence as it swung around. The gates were purchased from NZ Rail in 1981 and donated to the Cambridge Historical Society.
All the residential accommodation will be double-glazed, and ground floor retailers will open onto a spacious public seating area.
The centrepiece of the development will be the food and beverage building, named The Stables. As a focal point, this will dovetail with the character of Cambridge, and will feature a high vaulted ceiling.
There will also be office space provided, some of it above a proposed 24-hour medical centre and pharmacy, with space allocated for childcare, and a gymnasium.
Jones said the site’s strategic and geographical advantages included its proximity to the town centre, State Highway One and the Waikato Expressway. It also had flat contours, dual entrances and complementary adjacent businesses.