DIY centre to join Albany retail scene

By Anne Gibson

Symphony Projects Management has begun work on a $61.5 million home and DIY shopping project on an Albany site which will house 10 large stores.

Gateway Albany City is the bulk retail component of a $1 billion mixed-use apartment and office project.

Jeremy Nicoll, company secretary at the listed ING Property Trust Management, said on Monday that retailers specialising in furniture and interior decor, lighting and computers had signed leases.

A new 10,000sq m Mitre 10 Mega store will be the anchor tenant on the bulk retail store site being developed on Oteha Valley Rd.

Symphony owns half of ING Property Trust Management, the listed trust's manager, and Nicoll said it was that listed entity which had accepted Symphony Projects' proposal to develop the first part of the site.

The bulk retail store covers about half the area where a number of other major projects are being planned.

Nicoll said the site for the Mitre 10 and home stores was north of the lakes in front of the new Westfield Albany.

ING/Symphony's site is accessed off the Northern Motorway via the Oteha Valley interchange and lies across from the North Harbour Stadium.

"Symphony started earthworks there about a month ago," Nicoll said yesterday.

Negotiations are on with several other tenants for the rest of the bulk retail centre development, which Nicoll said Jones Lang LaSalle had valued at $61.5 million once it was completed. Symphony will get the lion's share of one-off development gains from the project.

"Under the development agreement, the project profit from each of the developments will be distributed 30 per cent to the trust and 70 per cent to Symphony," Nicoll said.

"The project profit from this development is $5.9 million, of which the trust will receive $1.77 million."

Bulking Up

* ING already owns most of the Mega Centa at Albany.

* Now work has started on a new town centre area nearby.

* This is a joint venture with Symphony Projects Management.

* Construction has started on a new Mitre 10 Mega.

* Work is due to be finished on the store by next Christmas.

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