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Franz Josef Developments Ltd

Franz Josef Developments Ltd

The West Coast Development Trust is pleased to announce it has approved a loan of $2.5 million to Franz Josef Developments for the development and construction of commercial and residential property in Franz Josef.

Franz Josef has a permanent population of around 400 people, which swells to over 600 during the tourist season. Annual visitor numbers are estimated to be 600,000 and rising. This has placed increasing pressure on the existing township area, which has reached a point where it may be missing out on business development opportunities therefore constraining its growth. In visits to the region by the Trust, local businesspeople have identified the lack of staff accommodation as a major inhibitor in their business expansion.

One of the goals of the development is to allow for and to encourage permanent employees, and reduce the “casualisation” of the workforce. This should also have training and service benefits.

These developments will provide a solution to the strategic issue of a lack of suitable land and buildings in Franz Josef, interest in the development is expected to be high. The project will provide a number of direct and indirect jobs in the short, medium and long term. The creation of 20-30 residential properties and an accommodation village will allow between 40-60 new employees to be accommodated in Franz Josef.

Twenty direct positions during the contracting and construction phase, along with a further 5 ancillary positions, will be provided, some carpentry and joinery positions are available immediately. The indirect employment creation is estimated to be between 40 and 60. Professional Project Managers will oversee the construction phase, which will be carried out primarily by qualified local contractors.

The owners of Franz Josef Developments, Grant Gibb and his family, are long time local residents. Mr Gibb has undertaken extensive industry and financial advice on the project and the Trust is very pleased to partner this significant redevelopment in a critical part of the tourism network of the West Coast Region.

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