New Zealand's largest shopping centre is to be expanded with a new 15-level hotel/office block, new Galleria shops on a second floor opening next year, high-rise apartments and nearly 1000 new carparks.
Clive Mackenzie, chief executive of owner Kiwi Property Group, outlined plans for the 35ha mainly undeveloped Sylvia Park Mt Wellington property after the company's half-year result was announced yesterday.
"The new building will be just in front of ANZ Raranga, between there and the Mt Wellington Highway," Mackenzie said of the 140-room hotel and offices on 1000sq m floor plates.
Kiwi's first office block is 10 levels.
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"We are well advanced in terms of discussions with international hotel operators but we're looking at combining a hotel with offices in 15 levels," he said. Kiwi also released the first plans for the new building yesterday showing the 10-level and 15-level blocks side by side.
That new site now has around 150 carparks on flat asphalt but Mackenzie said the loss of those carparks was of no concern because Kiwi was now well advanced developing its new south car park for 900 vehicles "and we've found with the first building that over 70 per cent are on public transport" he said of office workers.
With the existing 4100 spaces, the 900-bay carpark would take Sylvia Park's total parking capacity to 5000 spaces, the most at any New Zealand shopping centre.
"The hotel will most likely be on the top," Mackenzie said, referring to the new building's configuration to take advantage of extensive views.
On high-rise Sylvia Park apartments, Mackenzie said Kiwi was carrying out further research on build-to-rent "but we're making good progress" and he expects to be able to say more on that soon.
The new 19,000sq m Galleria shopping centre with 60 extra shops and a two-level Farmers is due to open mid next year. French cosmetics retailer Sephora and beauty brand Victoria's Secret have been tipped to be among those who have secured highly coveted spots but Kiwi has said nothing about that.
While Victoria's Secret has traded in New Zealand for a while, the rumours of a second Sephora store at Sylvia Park comes after the company opened its inaugural store on Queen Street earlier this year.
Kiwi bought further Sylvia Park land at 51-53 Carbine Rd and 7-10 Arthur Brown Pl for a combined $25.5m. That has given it an extra 2ha or 20,745sq m adjacent to its existing holdings and "strong potential for mixed-use development."
On Kiwi's big plans for a work/live/play community at its undeveloped Drury site, Mackenzie said: "We're working with local and central government to build infrastructure sooner. There's an infrastructure deficit on rail and road." He also referred to Auckland Council's Draft Drury-Opāheke Structure Plan "and Kiwi's role in that: "We may end up making a plan change application but there's nothing to announce."
At Hamilton's The Base which Kiwi owns jointly with Tainui, Mackenzie said Kiwi was well advanced planning a new food and beverage precinct "linking large-format to existing shops." Seven to eight restaurant-style eateries are planned "and we're looking to improve the entertainment offering with things like 10 pin bowling, a lot of [those concepts] are coming out of Australia."
Lawyers Bell Gully will leave four floors of Kiwi's Vero Centre on Shortland St in 2023 for Precinct Property's One Queen St on the waterfront.
Yet Mackenzie was unconcerned.
"It's just a normal part of the life cycle of the building. We're getting a great rental uplift there and it's a highly sought-after building. Leasing space gives us a chance to regenerate the building."