A new $37 million shopping and restaurant precinct, designed to enliven an Auckland centre dubbed a "ghost mall" last year, gets its official opening today.
The extension of the NorthWest Shopping Centre at Westgate, Massey, is the city's largest new restaurant, cafe and shopping precinct, with 15 new outlets.
Wagamama, Cleaver & Co, Orra Coffee Shop, Nando's, Goode Brothers, Hansan, Casablanca and Tomi Ro opened new restaurants or cafes in the second stage of the mall, which opened last October.
Landlord Stride Property said the new retail outlets were Citta, Stirling Sports, AMI Insurance, Marmot, SendaBasket, Hangerz and a pop-up Christmas Heirloom Company.
The second stage has long been planned and was meant to open a week ago but faced delays.
The mall hit the headlines last year when initial shopper numbers appeared below what some retailers had expected.
But the mall's owners reassured shopkeepers earlier this year.
A Stride statement said the new dining and shopping extension was 7700sq m, or three-quarters of a ha of floor space.
About 700 people already work at the mall but stage two would employ roughly 300 more, Stride said.
"North and west Auckland's population continues to grow and has previously been under served. NorthWest has been designed to be a central part of the Westgate community hub for the 475,000 (approximate) people who live within a 15-minute drive of the centre," a company statement said.
"The second stage of NorthWest will extend the retail and dining offer introducing more selection and wide choice of new local eateries for the community. NorthWest is somewhere the community can come together to enjoy events and experiences, spend time with family and friends and that offers local employment opportunities in a stimulating, creative and healthy environment."
Activities planned as part of NorthWest stage 2 opening:
• 11am today: Welcome to new retailers, restaurateurs and customers in town square on Maki St;
• Roaming stilt walkers, face painters, balloon twisters, jugglers, fairies and food samplers will be entertaining this weekend;
• Local talent and community arts groups - including award-winning dance group Bradas - 11am-12.30pm daily this weekend;
• Multi sensory light show on display intermittently 8pm-10pm, today, Saturday and Sunday.
• Ongoing activities to include movies in the square through to February, starting with Hunt for the Wilderpeople tomorrow.