Leases on about 100 of Sylvia Park's 200 shops are up for negotiation in the first big renewal since the $500 million mall opened.
Chris Gudgeon, Kiwi Income Property Trust chief executive, said discussions were being held with many tenants at the Mt Wellington centre, more than half a decade after it was finished and leases were struck.
"We're now six years post-completion and opening, so we're working through a lease renewal programme over the next two years. We're well into that now and enjoying very strong tenant demand. For us, it's very positive and exciting because we can bring in retailers we don't have and improve our precincts," he said.
But he dismissed as "nonsense" talk that a number of shops might shut, saying the lease renewals instead presented opportunities for growth. The food court could be expanded, with another outlet and further seating installed, he said.
Consultants RCG decided the mall was New Zealand's best but criticised it for not having a Farmers or K-Mart, only The Warehouse as a significant anchor at one end.
"I think originally we would have liked a Farmers but we couldn't get one because of their lease obligations elsewhere," said Gudgeon. "But it's fair to say that we have a close and very positive relationship with Farmers and we would like them to be at the next stage of expansion at Sylvia Park, when that occurs."
Sylvia Park retail sales rose 7.1 per cent in the year to March 31, 2011, compared with Northland's 22.2 per cent gain at Papanui, the AGM unitholders heard on Tuesday.