A long-awaited $250 million Newmarket expansion by mall giant Westfield (NZ) came a step closer yesterday after the shopping centre owner spelled out its plans.
New Zealand's largest new-build retail project, with 95 new shops, was quickly welcomed by the general manager of the Newmarket Business Association, Ashley Church.
Work is concentrating on 309 Broadway, home to national retailer Farmers on a block bounded by Mortimer Pass, Gillies Ave and Clovernook Rd, beneath the historic Highwic House.
Justin Lynch, Westfield (NZ) director, outlined the scheme.
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"Over the next few months, the leasing team will be working to discuss opportunities within the proposed new centre with retailers.
"Once the Westfield Group and Westfield Retail Trust Boards provide final approval for the proposed project, the timeline for this development will be announced.
"Westfield has consent for a development to the 309 site that includes 95 new specialty stores over three levels, a new 9500sq m department store over two levels, a cinema complex on the fourth level, a modern gymnasium, an additional 1400 car parking spaces and a two-level pedestrian bridge link to the existing Westfield 277 Broadway centre.
"Westfield proposes to combine the existing shopping centre at 277 Broadway with a proposed development of 309 Broadway into a seamless retail brand - Westfield Newmarket."
Westfield had long-term plans to invest $250 million in Newmarket and a new flagship Farmers, state-of-the-art cinemas, restaurant precinct and new shops were planned, Lynch said.
Westfield's plans have evolved in the past seven years as it worked with the council, Transport Agency, the urban design panel, engineers, designers, consultants and specialists.
What effect Westfield could have on Broadway is unknown, but Church said yesterday the shopping precinct would always change and evolve.