Iconic corner to be given makeover
You may have found yourself asking what’s been happening on the Tower Rd corner.
The iconic area is undergoing a facelift, following the decision by owners Jim and Irena Leadbeater to lease the property to Gull New Zealand Limited.
‘‘We have had so many people come into Tower Discount and ask what’s going on, so we thought we better put it out there and let everyone know,’’ Mrs Leadbeater said.
In August 2006,
the Leadbeaters received a letter from BP Oil New Zealand Limited saying they would be removing their existing fuel tanks due to the age of them and environmental risk.
BP decided not to replace the fuel tanks and it was up to the Leadbeaters to keep the service station operating, or it would close down.
The Leadbeaters decided to install two 40,000 litre tanks which was carried out in early 2008 by contractors and started pumping in April the same year.
This project which was called stage one, was part of a three- year agreement with BP.
Looking towards future development for stage two, the Leadbeaters started working with architects Jim and Marie Cotter and this took 12 months to complete.
The Leadbeaters then applied for resource consent from the Matamata-piako District Council which included building plans, roading, parking and neighbouring residences around the developments, which all needed to be approved. The development was approved in July 2010 and was priced in December 2010.
Mr Leadbeater said now they are looking for two tenants to occupy two separate shops that will be built on the site.
‘‘Those who occupied the other shops on the corner were offered the opportunity to take on the new shops but kindly declined,’’ he said.
Current Tower Discount staff have also been given the option to stay or move on.
Demolition began in midDecember 2011 and only local trade contractors have been employed with the exception of a few who specialise in specific trades.
‘‘ We want to build an attractive corner,’’ Mr Leadbeater said.
Gull New Zealand Limited retail development and sustainability manager Karl Mischewski said Gull was pleased and proud to be part of the Matamata community, and to offer local drivers and visitors to the area increased fuel choice.
‘‘ Gull is committed to delivering value to Kiwi motorists and our regular discount days offer savings to our customers. As a family-owned company and New Zealand’s first independent fuel retailer we’re doing what we can to keep fuel prices affordable,’’ Mr Mischewski said.
Gull New Zealand is the independent oil company that is credited with keeping the fuel market competitive and giving savings to the Kiwi motorist. It has become a serious player, offering a real choice for motorists in an extremely competitive market. The company remains today a family-owned operation.
Gull New Zealand was founded in 1998 by the Rae family who saw the need and potential for an inde- pendent energy supplier. Adherence to a philosophy of low cost management, prudent investment decisions and a carefully planned marketing strategy began with the building of a state-of-the-art terminal in Mount Maunganui in 1998. Tanks were relocated from Marsden Point by barge, a feat some said was ‘‘impossible’’.
Gull New Zealand made the first retail sales of petrol in 1999 and has grown the network to more than 40 branded sites.
Gull has been a first mover in introducing innovative new products to the New Zealand energy market.
These include lowsulphur diesel bringing environmental benefits well ahead of the opposition, as well as New Zealand’s first biofuel, Gull Force 10 (a 10 per cent ethanol mixed with premium gasoline giving higher octane and cleaner performance).
In 2010 Gull achieve another first and extended its environmental focus with the release of Gull Diesel Max, a high-quality biodiesel blend sourced from sustainable New Zealand vegetable oil.
Gull now has four service stations that only sell biofuels which is another first for New Zealand.
Facelift: The iconic Tower Rd corner is being leased by Gull New Zealand Limited.