‘Lakewood Cambridge’ – a new development that compliments Cambridge’s character town appeal
Construction work on Lakewood Cambridge is expected to start later this year, with completion projected to be around a year later. Ben Jones, Development Manager, at the Greenstone Group, Lakewood’s project and development managers, said design work for Lakewood Cambridge had been undertaken by Auckland based Ignite Architects.
Each of the buildings is designed to 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 facilitate the creation of an attractive mixed-used destination that links the ‘hidden’ lake and reserve with Cambridge’s character town.”
Ben Jones said the development was strategically placed to benefit from Cambridge’s natural amenity, heritage town appeal, forecast regional growth, and supplementary destination attractions, such as; the Avantidrome, Lake Karapiro and Hobbiton.
Bringing Lakewood to fruition is 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 is very supportive and easy to deal with throughout this process. In terms of commercial appeal, Lakewood has been strategically crafted around research findings by the economic demographers Property Economics.
They undertook a comprehensive audit of Cambridge’s existing retail and commercial property sector, and identified a significant “shopping leakage”.
Property Economics found an average 57 per cent of the 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,” Ben 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 capitalise both on the view 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 nearby playground area will be developed close to Cambridge’s historic ‘kissing gate – which will remain where it is. The small gate is 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. This will be a focal point designed to dovetail with the character of Cambridge. It will feature a high vaulted ceiling and will open directly onto public seating areas overlooking the lake.
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. Ben 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.
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