Two big new Auckland inner-city supermarkets are on track to open early next year.
Executives at Foodstuffs, which owns New World, and Progressive, which owns Countdown, said work was progressing on the stores which will open within a block of each other.
New World will be at 125 Queen St and Countdown in the Finance Centre which has entrances off Albert St, Durham St West and Victoria St West.
Auckland's only big-format supermarkets near the city centre are Countdown Auckland City in Quay St and New World Victoria Park, on the corner of Franklin Rd and Victoria St West.
Once the stores open, 20,000-plus central-city apartment dwellers, 70,000 office workers and 40,000 students will be able to shop for groceries near where they live, work and study.
The acting general manager of property strategy for Foodstuffs Auckland, Tony Catton, said work on his firm's 1325sq m store had already started.
"New World Metro Queen St is progressing well and is through the design stages. Minor work has begun on-site and building consent is imminent."
He said the store was expected to be open by March.
"There is a loading dock on Mills Lane which is connected to the store's goods lift and will enable products to be transported to the supermarket," Mr Catton said.
"The new Metro store is in the basement of the ex-BNZ Tower and is the same space as the former foodcourt."
For its Countdown store, Progressive chose the site of the former duty free store in the bottom of the high-rise Finance Centre, where it has leased 2100sq m.
Its store has four street frontages but which entranceway it will use is not yet known.
The building is owned by NZX-listed property business Kermadec.
The new Countdown will be 2000sq m, 1000sq m smaller than the 3000sq m Countdown Auckland City - formerly Foodtown - according to Progressive's national communications and public affairs manager, Luke Schepen.
Foodstuffs and Progressive are developing 39 new or replacement supermarkets, worth nearly $600 million, throughout New Zealand.
Supermarkets, hardware chains, fast-food outlets, IT stores and gyms are some of the businesses expanding and demanding more property space in retail areas.
* New World: Basement, 125 Queen St, ex-BNZ Tower, opposite Shortland St
* Countdown: Finance Centre, former duty free shop, spanning three city blocksBy Anne Gibson @Anne Gibson Email Anne