A retail and office block development is in the pipeline for the site of the old Bow Street Motors.

Andreas Broring, who bought the property at the end of last year, says he plans to build a “small mall” in the front parking area of the former garage.

“Hopefully by the end of the year we will have something built in the forecourt,” says Andreas, who has lived in Raglan for more than 30 years.

He says he also built the Yot Club and bakery.

“It can’t be too difficult to do something else.”

His plans include retail spaces – possibly three shops – and offices above, to attract new tenancies or old ones.

“It will be a nice retail space: double glazing, well insulated, modern technology.”

The old garage workshop will remain and is currently being developed into two separate work spaces.

The owners of Raglan Coconut Yoghurt, which has been operating out of the Old School Arts Centre, are building a commercial kitchen in half of the space, and Andreas plans to open Bow Street Market Place, selling new and used furniture, second-hand goods, second-hand hardware and second-hand tools.

While Raglan Coconut Yoghurt hopes to be producing onsite in a couple of weeks, Andreas says he’s set himself no deadline for Bow Street Market Place.

It will open “when it is ready”.

“I’m so busy. I am not stressing out over an open date.”

The former office of Bow Street Motors, which Andreas is currently leasing on a month-to-month basis to Channelle Ruawai, owner of 2nd Life VTG, will be demolished to make way for the new development.

“We’ve been looking at the future of Raglan,” says Andreas.

He’s been in talks with accountants Bizworx Consultancy, which is based in Wallis St and borders the Bow St site.

He says discussions include the possibility of creating an accessway linking Bow St and Wallis St, using the two properties, and creating car parking and a green zone in between.

Changes are also afoot for another property, the Raglan Co-operative Dairy Factory building, owned by Andreas.

Eco Windows moved out of the site at the end of January, shifting to Collins Rd in Hamilton.

Andreas says there is once again a joinery onsite, called Raglan Joinery Co-operative.

The Monster Company, the creative collaboration that is Hayley Hamilton, Karla Stevenson and Craig Hamilton, will also be set up in the site by the end of the month.

“It’s a new era for the business,” says Hayley, of the move out of their home-based workshop.

“We are offering an environment where people can see us at work.”

The long-term plan is to have a small gallery onsite, also.

Andreas says there are still vacancies at the old dairy factory, suitable for either boutique retail or a manufacturing business.

Meanwhile, there’s a a bit of a facelift happening in Volcom Lane.

Rob Galloway and Marie de Jong are opening a second Soul Shoes shop in Raglan, at the back of the Trade Aid shop.

“We figured we could open it up to the lane,” says Rob, who was busy last week building decking outside the shop’s front entrance.

Marie says they want to have a presence in town, as well as at the wharf.

“So yeah, basically the visitors who come to Raglan, the new ones, never come to the wharf …  don’t know it exists.”

“We are producing more these days and I didn’t want to start wholesaling,” says Rob.

They hope to open before the end of the month.

In Bow St, Aga Turkish Cuisine has now opened to rave reviews on Raglan Notice Board.

Owner Yassar Kaplan says he had hoped to open before Christmas, but he didn’t get the sign-off from council.

Then “the council was on holiday and when they came back there was a lot of things waiting for them”.

He says he has been very busy since opening on January 31.

“We didn’t expect it to be that busy.

“We have been so busy sometimes we can’t answer the phone.”

Yassar, 45, has set up about “12 or 13” Turkish food places in his lifetime, including in Istanbul, where he was living before he moved to New Zealand in 2000, and Melbourne.

He currently has Aga Turkish Cuisine takeaway shops in Whangaparoa, Warkworth and Paeroa, and is also building a restaurant in Whangaparoa, which should be finished by the end of March.

He’s hoping to stay permanently in Raglan. The people are “very nice” here, he says.

Inger Vos