Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Westfield studies top sites

By ANNE GIBSON

Westfield NZ is examining the possibility of creating an apartment/office park on its 8.4ha land holdings in Newmarket.

Westfield NZ director John Widdup said a plan was being prepared for a mixed use concept with a large residential component in Newmarket. This was being prepared at the same time as the Two Double Seven mall on Broadway was being expanded.

The apartment/office park could be on the former Mercury Energy site, where in 2000 Westfield ditched plans to build a $450 million 11-level mall, instead taking a stake in the rival Two Double Seven centre across the road.

But Widdup said no firm plans had been made. "We're considering a total retail and mixed-use centre with apartments and shops and offices for the southern side of Newmarket," he said.

This could be built on the former Levene Extreme block on the Two Double Seven site and on the former Mercury Energy land, he said. "But we're still looking at our options."

Meanwhile, Westfield has leased the former Mercury Energy buildings to retailers and uses part of the site as its national headquarters.

All up, Westfield controls more than 8.4ha of prime Newmarket land, much of it undeveloped. The Two Double Seven site is 4ha and the former Mercury Energy site is 4.3ha.

At the same time, Widdup said Westfield was preparing to apply for planning consent for its new shopping mall at Albany and hoped the application could be made towards the end of this month.

The Albany mall would be built in stages, starting at about 20,000sq m then a decade later almost doubling that with the expectation of adding a further 15,000sq m when the population in the area increased sufficiently to justify a larger centre.

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