An old industrial building being converted into a boutique retail space is proving popular with commercial tenants and consumers in East Auckland.

CBRE retail specialist Callum Scott says that — following a successful first year — Orakei Bay Village has begun its second stage of refurbishment offering six new tenancies.

"The work is due for completion at the end of this year.

"So an opportunity has now opened up for hospitality tenants to get into a unique bespoke environment," he says.


"Not only does Orakei Bay Village have an edgy look and feel, it's an attractive setting with lots of space and natural light servicing a strong demographic and catchment east of the city.

"The new spaces available have been reconfigured from the original layout and will have new glazing to maximise light and views over the harbour and to the CBD skyline," says Scott. "With numerous businesses already trading, we're looking for compatible food, hospitality and fashion operators to join the precinct and create a unique destination for consumers."

The key space on offer is 360sq m on the upper level, offering a charming and character-filled space with high-pitched ceilings and natural light to a potential restaurateur.

Meanwhile, four smaller units would be ideal for retail or hospitality use. Anchored by Farro and Kings Plant Barn, potential occupiers will join 22 other tenants including Brothers Beer, Bird on a Wire and Father Rabbit.

The owner of the Orakei Bay Village, Elliot Knight of Equinox Group, says that following much interest in the space, it was an easy decision to proceed with the second stage of refurbishment.

"We wanted to create a destination with a variety of boutique operators," Knight says. "A year after the centre opened, the time is now right to continue to build the Village's presence. By adding more retailers, we create further depth that allows us to better service the area. "

Scott says conversion of Orakei Bay Village from a warehouse building into boutique retail space is part of a growing trend both in Auckland and internationally.

"Similar projects here would include City Works Depot and Ponsonby Central. But not its only in Auckland that re-purposed character spaces is proving popular with companies seeking a point of difference. This is now a feature of commercial design in cities across the world; The Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney and New York's meatpacking district are prime examples."