Only six retail units remain to be leased in the new Silverdale shopping centre, which is due to open mid-October in the Rodney district north of Auckland.
The 36-unit Silverdale Centre, at 40 Hibiscus Coast Highway, with The Warehouse and Countdown as co-anchors, has proven very popular with retailers due to the compelling demographic trends in Silverdale.
Jessica Martin, retail leasing broker at Colliers International, who is marketing the rentals, says the centre is ideally located to serve the significant population growth predicted for the region. She says 30 shops are leased or under offer, with Storage Box, Warehouse Stationery, ANZ, Walker and Hall, North Beach, T&T Childrenswear, Postie Plus and St Pierre's Sushi already signed up.
"Many retailers who have taken up leases understand the benefits of acquiring premises of this quality in a prime location alongside major brands that are already making the move to Silverdale," says Martin. "The town is part of one of the most rapidly growing regions in New Zealand and is now earmarked to be the future commercial heart of the Hibiscus Coast.
This has contributed to the centre being one of the fastest-leasing developments we've seen so far in Auckland. The interest we've received has been overwhelming."
The centre will include 980 ground level and undercover car parks. Smaller tenancies will complement two anchor stores, to create a family-focused town centre with numerous "precincts" such as fashion and food, homeware and appliances, and services, which will include two banks.
The Silverdale Centre is the largest development undertaken by The Warehouse Group.
Fiona Shilton, general manager, property at The Warehouse, who is overseeing the project with development manager Paul Hudson, says the company has taken great care to achieve the "right mix" at the centre.
"While the development is about meeting the community's shopping needs, we have carefully themed the site, ensuring the 'story of Silverdale' is preserved.
"The area is rich in history, which we've studied as part of the planning and design process, and architects Stiffe Hooker have incorporated features into the design that showcase Silverdale's distinctive past.
"Through the use of timber and native plants, we're bringing the natural environment inside, and large sedimentary rocks known as 'concretions' - features of the surrounding landscape - are being incorporated into our outdoor areas. Extensive landscaping is designed to help ensure the development enhances the area."
Hudson says The Warehouse's goal is to create a community hub and a shopping destination serving the approximately 47,000 people who live in the immediate catchment.
"With the catchment expected to grow to 53,000 people by 2020, the development will meet the demands of a rapidly expanding population."
Anchor stores The Warehouse and Countdown will occupy half the 24,000sq m retail space and will be a powerful drawcard for customers, says Martin. "This is the first comprehensively designed shopping centre for the locality. Planned new highway on- and off-ramps will also funnel significant traffic volumes directly past the site in the future."
More than 35,000 vehicles pass the site daily, says the NZ Transport Agency.