Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Trust seeks to matchmake new tenants with city's empty spaces

The Stamford Plaza shops would become an exhibition for three emerging artists, Collis said. Photo / APN
The Stamford Plaza shops would become an exhibition for three emerging artists, Collis said. Photo / APN

Empty city shops and buildings could soon get a new lease of life if the Auckland Angel Landlords Trust gets its way.

Matt Collis of the organisation said the trust wanted to match up businesses with empty areas, such as the shops under the Stamford Plaza on Swanson St.

People and organisations who needed more exposure or the ability to move out of home would benefit from the scheme, he said.

"This is being launched to improve the life around vacant spaces in Auckland by working alongside property owners to find productive short- and medium-term uses for properties now disused, vacant or awaiting development," Collis said.

Trust members had been working for the last eight months, ready for the launch of the first property next Friday at the Stamford Plaza, then other sites will follow.

The Stamford Plaza shops would become an exhibition for three emerging artists, Collis said.

"The next property to be finalised will be an old school premise in Parnell," he said. "We are currently in talks with tenants," he said, predicting a start-up fashion boutique, an educational trust and artists would move into the Parnell space which will also be used as offices for people now working from their homes.

"The fashion boutique will allow four people to locate in one premise and unify the team. They will also be starting up an educational programme to pass on the expertise of the current staff," Collis said.

Discussions with Auckland Council controlled organisations might see further projects, he said.

Nathan Male, a director of retail leasing specialists Metro Commercial, welcomed the trust's plans, saying some of the Stamford Plaza shop space had been vacant for some time.

"Any active use of space which is otherwise closed has got to be good for the city. It's better to have something going on than nothing," Male said.

Retail vacancies in the CBD were relatively low, he said.

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