Kiwi Income Property Trust is spending nearly $40 million on its Centre Place shopping centre in Hamilton in a move some institutional investors see as defending itself against Tainui's The Base.

On Wednesday, Rebel Sport will open a new store as part of the staged redevelopment in the mall which is seeing Farmers department store expanding into their old shop.

Kiwi said the Rebel move was a milestone at Centre Place and the flagship 7000sq m Farmers store was on target to open in October next year.

Another key feature of the changes is the closing of Ward St West, part of the Hamilton City Council's significant investment in the revitalisation of the CBD.


Mark Luker, Kiwi's general manager of development, said that would enable the trust to complete the extensive redevelopment and create a new open space in the heart of the CBD.

Investors say Kiwi has been forced to do up Centre Place because the new Base has drawn shoppers and is highly successful, although carparking has been an issue there.