New Zealand's first American-style shopping centre is about to be expanded. LynnMall, opened 50 years ago in New Lynn, could get a multi-screen cinema and more shops as part of a $50-million revamp.
Auckland Council has earmarked New Lynn as a growth suburb and a tower apartment block is due to rise in its Merchants Quarter, alongside the $160 million underground railway completed two years ago.
"The completion of New Lynn's world-class transport interchange ... (New Zealand's) largest-ever public transport infrastructure investment - was the first step in the area's long-awaited regeneration project," the council said.
Owner Kiwi Income Property Trust sees opportunity in a lack of cinemas stretching across a wide part of Auckland from St Lukes to Henderson's WestCity.
Chief executive Chris Gudgeon told the Herald New Lynn was a growth suburb.
"What we're doing is planning ahead and we have a master plan for LynnMall which includes an entertainment precinct and cinemas.
"We've undertaken market research and we think our customer would love to see that."
Under the redevelopment the mall would grow to 47,000sq m, which would make it similar in size to St Lukes, though still smaller than the Sylvia Park shopping centre, which is about 70,000sqm. St Lukes plans to expand beyond that to more than 90,000sqm.
New transport links, shared space, a large apartment development and extra commercial and retail space is in the pipeline for New Lynn.
A 12ha brownfields site is earmarked for 1800 residences and a public park, on land between Rankin Ave and Margan Ave.
Derek Battersby, Whau Local Board chairman, said the area's transformation was significant but much more was to come.
He called for speed on the brownfields site, saying it was one of the most significant and biggest land parcels for housing in Auckland. "It's extremely strategic. With the pressure on Auckland housing, the need to move is urgent."
• Opened in 1963.
• Developed by London's Hammerson Property and Investment Trust for $1 million.
• Founding retailers: Milne and Choyce, Whitcombe & Tombs and Kean's.