The first stage of what is planned to be New Zealand's largest furniture and homeware store has opened in Auckland.

Paulette Redstone, Nido Living commercial manager, said a furniture interiors division had now opened. That division is nido@work, she said, because it caters solely to the commercial market.

The new outlet is at Unit 4, 91 Central Park Dr and has been likened to an Ikea for its scale, although Ikea has not yet announced where it will open in Auckland. When its full store opens around December, Nido is expected to be very like Ikea, have an instore restaurant and children's play area.

"It's in an existing building, an interim area before we move into the new premises," Nido's Redstone said of that company's new store.

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Nido plans to open a 2.7ha store later this year at 158 Central Park Dr, and that is now under construction.

But in the meantime, Redstone said the initial store had opened nearby.

That temporary store is selling commercial interior equipment including desks, chairs, soft seating, meeting pods, lighting, storage units and items for the hospitality and education sectors, she said.

The temporary premises is only around 100sqm and further stock from Europe and Asia will arrive towards the end of this month, she said.

Julian Bottaro, Nido's general manager, said more than $1m of overseas stock would soon be in that temporary showroom.

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"The majority of the stock is here now and in the next couple of weeks, there will be $1m of stock here. People are now looking for something quite unique, we're able to show people new ranges for the commercial market," Bottaro said.

Nido Living's planned warehouse, shop and carpark in Henderson, now under construction. Photo / Nido
Nido Living's planned warehouse, shop and carpark in Henderson, now under construction. Photo / Nido

Auckland businessman Vinod Kumar, pioneer of the MEGA Mitre 10 concept, said he had put his entire fortune into the new Nido business.

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The 27,000sq m store under construction will have around 100 display rooms and an entire house within its showroom floor, he said.

The store's foyer will be 6000sq m to 7000sq m. An upstairs cafe will seat 340 people and the store will trade 10am-10pm daily, with staff working in three shifts, Kumar said.

"Stock will arrive at 5am off the truck, be packed out of containers and Dexion robots will put it in the warehouse. There will be 250 pallets of stock a day," he said.

Kumar said around half the furniture and homeware to be sold in his store would come from Europe, much from North America and some from Asia.

"I've travelled the world and seen the furniture business and for us to be up there, it's a matter of being that size," Kumar said.

How the project looked earlier this year. Photo / Nido
How the project looked earlier this year. Photo / Nido

Although no store is finished or opened, already Kumar says he has "sold" the project to Maat Group syndicators, formed in 2009 and headquartered on Corinthian Dr, Albany.

That property sale will help fund the new furniture and homeware business, he said.

Maat advertised the Central Park Property Investment scheme with a projected pre-tax cash return of 8.5 per cent per annum. It sought $30m and the offer is closed.

"This opportunity is a little different from previous Maat offers. It involves the development of a property through a joint venture with the developer," Maat says.

Distributions of 8.5 per cent annually were being paid on a monthly basis from March this year, Maat's offer document says.

Equity funding to enable the joint venture to do the development will be provided by the current landowner with 20 per cent and Maat investors with 80 per cent, the offer document says.