On the go .. . Work to redevelop PlaceMakers Oamaru's Humber St site has started. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

A long-awaited redevelopment project that will result in PlaceMakers Oamaru almost doubling in size is under way.

Preliminary site establishment work in Humber St, being carried out by De Geest Construction, started on November 10, while construction started in earnest last week.

When completed, PlaceMakers’ new building, which will include a 2609 sq m floor area and 2306 sq m yard with drive-through area, will replace the existing 1500 sq m store.

The complex will feature modern kitchen, bathroom and heating showrooms and 53 car parks.

The redevelopment project being undertaken by Fletcher Building, the company that owns PlaceMakers, is part of a national drive to develop regional stores in New Zealand.

Fletcher Distribution property and development director Matthew Grainger said when work was finished, Oamaru would have a store similar to those seen in major centres.

“Oamaru is a go-ahead town with lots of interest from people who want to move there. We’re really excited to be able to offer a PlaceMakers that’s on par with those in cities such as Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.

“We have been getting the existing building ready for construction to start, including putting up new racks to make space for the construction site. We’ll be open throughout the upgrade which is planned for completion during the coming six months to a year.”

PlaceMakers Oamaru partner Geoff Brown said he was excited about the project and what it would mean for customers.

“There has been a timber merchant of various forms on this site for 153 years, operating under the PlaceMakers banner for the last 35 years,” Mr Brown said.

“Generations of local builders have been very loyal to us, so it’s great to be working together with local contractors to deliver a new store which will be here for years to come.”

McCallum and Company opened a timber yard in Humber St to service sawmilling at Seaward Forest in 1864.

In the early 1960s, Fletcher Holdings became McCallum and Company’s major shareholders, and in 1962, Fletchers Merchants established the PlaceMakers brand in Oamaru.Sports ShoesAsics Onitsuka Tiger