About 300 permanent new jobs have been created at Silverdale after The Warehouse built a $60 million hilltop retail centre where 150 construction workers have been employed for the past two years.
While the West Coast and Kawerau suffer big job cuts, the rapidly growing suburb north of Auckland is enjoying boom times and offering rich pickings for job hunters.
Fiona Shilton, property general manager for The Warehouse, said her company's new 35-shop centre on the 7.2ha Silverdale site would open on October 18 and had drawn many national retailers who had then employed staff for their new shops.
The Warehouse alone had taken on between 100 and 130 people, she said, and construction workers had been busy on the land since 2010 after Naylor Love won the main building contract.
The 24,000sq m centre with 980 carparks stands between Hibiscus Coast Highway, Wainui Rd and Silverdale St, opposite Stella Maris Catholic Primary School and has a Countdown, Warehouse Stationery, Number One Shoes, Postie Plus, Noel Leeming, Lighting Plus, Beds R Us, Storage Box, Snap Fitness, OPSM, t&t childrenswear, Stirling Sports, Telecom, Walker & Hall, KFC, Supercheap Auto and Paper Plus.
Around 1000sq m has been built for food outlets including a drive-through KFC, Hollywood Bakery, Jamaica Blue, Mozaik Cafe, St Pierre's Sushi, Pita Pit, an ice cream parlour and a Roast Shop.
Shilton said she hoped the centre would be the Hibiscus Coast community's new retail hub.
"To have been there when we bought the land and to see it through to fruition is quite amazing," she said.
Shilton has worked for The Warehouse for 18 years, developing dozens of its big new red sheds in that time.
The new centre is unusual because The Warehouse leases some of its premises and does not own every store. But at Silverdale it has expanded its traditional role by building, then leasing other shops, some of which will compete against it.
Paul Hudson, a Warehouse property development manger, said the retail space had been leased for between $280/sq m to $300/sq m annually, and just three stores were still available.
Population growth in the area was the main driver for the project and Shilton said her company felt the timing was right for such a big development because about 48,000 people lived in its catchment area.
"Growth can be seen by the number of developments being undertaken," she said.
"About 3500 houses are planned for the adjoining residential area."
Silverdale retail centre project by The Warehouse.
1994: Land purchased.
2004: Rodney Council approved a plan change.
2010: Final resource consent granted.
October 18: Opening day.
[Source: The Warehouse]