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New development . . . An artist's impression of the new Oamaru Mitre 10 Mega, due to open in early 2020. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

It’s official – Mitre 10 Mega is coming to Oamaru.

Mitre 10 Oamaru owner-operator Simon Lye has confirmed plans to build a new $18million Mega regional store, double the size of the existing Mitre10, in Dee St.

The 6000sqm multimillion-dollar development will also include a Columbus Cafe and playground.

“We’ve had this expansion in mind for quite a few years, and due to the size required for a large store, finding a great central location was what we were waiting on,” Mr Lye said.

“We are very happy with the Dee St location which allows us to deliver a serious DIY offer to Waitaki district in a central location.”

Mr Lye said early works on the site in Dee St had begun and “we’re tracking towards opening in early 2020, but that’s a long way out yet and we will have a better idea closer to the time.

“Once complete, we will need to employ a further 20 team members, in a mix of full- and part-time roles. This will see our team grow to more than 60 people,” he said.

Mr Lye saw a bright future for Oamaru and he was excited about how the new development could contribute to that growth.

“While Oamaru has been perceived as a relatively quieter town, I see a different story as the community is starting to grow in a more proactive and positive way, being supported by strong growth in the Waitaki Valley and in the Mackenzie district – and of course from [being] a tourism destination with the penguins and famous old Victorian district,” he said.

“The main reason to expand is to better meet the needs and expectations of our customers for a bigger range of products – they’ve been asking us about this expansion for a long time.

“It’s also about offering our growing trade base the facilities they need – to be honest, they’re pretty limited currently – so we’re excited to offer the tradespeople a big improvement shortly.”

He said the response to the announcement had been “really supportive and positive”.

Mitre10 Oamaru has been owned and operated by South Island family business The Collins Group since 1992.

Originally trading out of a small premise in Thames St, owned by Robertson’s Hardware, the store moved to Severn St, which it has now outgrown, after ownership changed hands.

Owned by the Lye family, the Collins Group also owns Mitre10 Mega stores in Ashburton and Timaru.