Property editor of the NZ Herald

New mall owner eyes major changes

Shore City buyer will begin with refurbishment then look to expanding space and offerings.
Australian retail, a gourmet grocer, another retail floor, big seismic upgrade and apartments are possible for Takapuna's Shore City.
Australian retail, a gourmet grocer, another retail floor, big seismic upgrade and apartments are possible for Takapuna's Shore City.

Australian retail, a gourmet grocer, another retail floor, big seismic upgrade and apartments are possible for Takapuna's Shore City.

Australian Shaun Bonett's Precision Group bought the property last month for more than $90 million, and although the business would talk to the centre management, existing tenants, customers and the wider community, he has firm ideas about changes.

"I would like to bring Australian retailers there. There's a great opportunity to bring new retailers to Shore City. It would also be good to introduce a high-end food offering," he said, citing the David Jones food hall in Australia and New Zealand gourmet grocery businesses Nosh and Farro Fresh.

New Zealand gourmet grocery business Nosh.
New Zealand gourmet grocery business Nosh.

"I have had a long-term relationship with David Jones, so I think it would be very, very good for Shore City - the right demographic and surrounding areas. They would be one of the retailers I would be pleased to have discussions with."

David Jones is about to open its first New Zealand store in Wellington.

Building another storey is also possible.

"The centre is built to be extended a further floor and that's on the table to explore the possibility."

Bonett, listed by Australia's Business Review Weekly as worth A$478 million ($513 million), specialises in doing up retail centres. This is his first purchase here.

He will upgrade ceilings, floors, lighting and decor at the property, managed by Colliers International.

Bonett is confident about Takapuna. "It's a very exciting area and there's high demand for quality offerings."

Civic leaders welcomed Bonett's arrival.

Brett O'Riley, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development chief executive, said: "Precision's developments in Adelaide and Melbourne are stunning, high quality activations. It should be great for Takapuna."

Chris Darby, an Auckland councillor, agreed.

Bonett planned to visit visit Shore City yesterday to meet management.

He had been surprised about seismic information demands, but said a big plus of buying here was no stamp duty or capital gains tax.

"The due diligence process took a long time. It would be useful for a number of my colleagues in Australia to understand that, as well as the importance of getting a high-quality seismic report. Without that, it is almost impossible to raise finance," he said of the purchase.

"The building is an over-engineered structure, very strong."

However, he will strengthen it further and residential living might rise eventually.

"My primary desire in the next three to five years is to create one of Auckland's best shopping centres. Once that has been done, there's the opportunity to put a residential tower on top. There's no reasons why that will not be explored."

Australian Shaun Bonett is keen for retailers such as David Jones in Takapuna.
Australian Shaun Bonett is keen for retailers such as David Jones in Takapuna.

Precision Group Retail assets

• A$160m Adelaide Central Plaza

• A$195m MacArthur Central, Brisbane

• $A70m Chevron, Surfers Paradise

• $A90m Port Canal, Port Adelaide

• $A35m Pran Central, Melbourne

• $90m+ Shore City, Takapuna

- NZ Herald

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