Build adds new life to student precinct

Build adds new life to student precinct
The three-storey building incorporates a cafe and dairy on the ground floor and two high-end apartments on the upper levels.

Transformed – the iconic Campus Wonderful Store in the heart of Dunedin’s beating student precinct has been replaced with a three-storey building, incorporating cafe and dairy on the ground floor and two high-end apartments on the upper levels.
Located on the corner of Union and Forth Street, the old Campus Wonderful Store had been part of student life since 1969.
With the building due for an upgrade, owners from the store’s founding family decided to start afresh, injecting a modern architectural look and feel.
Spearheading the contract was another iconic, long-standing Dunedin business – Stewart Construction Ltd.
Initially engaged to provide budget costings for the development, the building company was then later awarded the project following competitive tender.
Boasting more than 50 years commercial and residential construction experience in Dunedin and Central Otago, Stewart Construction was well placed to meet the challenges of a multi-storey development within the university city.
David Grant, managing director for Stewart Construction explains that construction was on a tight site with the building taking up 100% of the 178sqm site footprint.
“There was no area for tools or plant, no room for on-site offices, and it’s one of the busiest corners in town when students are in town.
“It involved quite a bit of traffic management and co-ordination. Materials were delivered on the day required and craned into position.”
Commencing the project early October last year, completion of the groundwork was delayed by three weeks due to ground instability issues and a boundary wall that required strengthening.
Despite the challenges, David says the company made time up throughout the project; largely completing it on time. “The cafe and dairy were handed over early February with the apartments completed late February.

Build adds new life to student precinct
The two three-bedroom apartments are not the typical student flats; making use of high-end materials and details.

 
“The cafe and dairy were critical to the clients due to the University returning then and that’s their busy time being orientation week – that was the priority.”
David says the two three-bedroom apartments are not the typical student flats; making use of high-end materials and details.
“The cafe, dairy and apartments really look fantastic. “I’ve had a lot of comment both from the clients and other building companies about how good the building looks and how quickly we were able to deliver what is effectively a three story building,” he says.
David has always enjoyed the building game – from pricing and being awarded the project to handing the finished building over on time and within the client’s budget.
“There are five of us pricing the jobs and the way that our process works is that the person who prices the job is the person who manages the process right through to completion. “It means that you have a good understanding of the project for the client.”
He says another key to Stewart Construction’s success is its 45 staff and their vast experience on a wide range of projects “There are 5 – 6 staff who have been with the company for 30 plus years. I put that down to a good team environment.
“People enjoy their work and getting a good variety of work.”
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