The Caltex service station at the highway shopping precinct closed on March 31, making way for a new development on the site.
The closure is part of a realignment of retail stores in the area – an encouraging sign that retailers and developers continue to have faith for the future as the expressway nears completion.
During the next couple of months the Caltex infrastructure will be cleared, making way for what’s understood to be a development that will bring new dining, retail and entertainment to the site. It’s likely to link to the park just to the north, raising the possibility of an upgrade to the park facilities.
Meanwhile, art gallery and design store Artel is due to move in to the old Rembrandt clothing shop at the end of the month. It is relocating from Mahara Place in Waikanae, with Waikanae Library moving into the space.
It’s a win-win for the library and Artel owner Maude Heath. The library is pleased to have the space, and Maude is happy to move on.
“I’ve been in Mahara Place for a while, but it’s time for something new.”
Artel was established 10 years ago as an artist co-operative, and under Maude, it has been at Mahara Place for the past four years.
She’s excited about being in a new space – which is a bit bigger than what she had at Mahara – and about the move to Ōtaki.
“I’m looking forward to being in a destination town like Ōtaki. It’s all new, but I know my customers will follow me.”
In other developments, Hunting and Fishing opposite RiverStone Café is developing the site next door previously occupied by law firm Simpson and Co before they moved.
It’s understood a new store will be built on the site, allowing a new tenant to occupy the current building.
NZ Natural Clothing is busy refurbishing the ground floor of what was until last month Marlan Trading’s store.
Marlan will remain upstairs, but the whole ground floor will be the new retail space for NZ Natural, which will be moving from across the alleyway just next door in the next couple of months.
Farther north, Wakefields Lawyers has completed new signage above Subway after taking over Simpson and Co last year.
Although it couldn’t be confirmed, Ōtaki Today also understands that the former Traffic Café in Arthur Street has been leased, pending the arrival of a new retailer.
A couple of empty shops are still available at the highway shops, including one previously occupied by Discount Shoes.