Building a Better Newmarket
Thursday, 23 November 2012
Building a Better Newmarket
New details have been revealed about two major developments which promise to underpin the economic future of Auckland's second largest retail centre.
At an event hosted by the Newmarket Business Association this week, keynote speakers from NZTA and Westfield have provided further insight into plans to develop vacant land beneath the Newmarket Viaduct - and expand the area's retail footprint.
Westfield New Zealand Director, Justin Lynch, outlined plans for a proposed new retail development on the historic Dominion Motors/Levene Extreme/Farmers site which borders Mortimer Pass and Broadway.
In addition to a proposed flagship 9,500 sqm Department store, 95 new specialty stores are planned, along with a six-screen cinema, gymnasium and 1,400 car additional parking spaces.
Mr Lynch says the completed project will "not be your typical shopping mall exterior – you could say it will be have more presence like that of an art gallery" with a striking bronze and glass facade.
Subject to planning approvals, and the right market conditions, the multi-million dollar complex could be built within 18 months. "The Westfield Newmarket project will complement, extend and consolidate Newmarket as the pre-eminent retail precinct in New Zealand" says Mr Lynch
Association Chief Executive Ashley Church says "The scale and architectural and aesthetic values of the proposed development are absolutely stunning ", adding that the University of Auckland's move to acquire and redevelop the old Lion Brewery site adds further impetus to Newmarket's future prospects.
With the $215m Newmarket Viaduct Replacement project due for completion before Christmas, the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has also unveiled a draft master plan which provides for a mix of commercial and office space, active retail frontages, car parking buildings and multi-functional open space under the flyover.
NZTA Senior Urban Design Advisor, Jacque Bell, says the aim is to create retail and business developments - up to four stories high - that allow for "more progressive land use which would provide a benefit to the Newmarket community."
To that end, the NZTA will shortly invite tenders for 99 year leases on the Viaduct land. "What we want to try and get is integrated development appearing in that area. So it will be the best proposal in the best areas that'll actually win that" says NZTA Manager Ritchie Schofield.
Despite suggestions that it might have lost its crown, retail sales in Newmarket have grown by 6.5 per cent over the past year and the average transaction value has risen to almost $70, well ahead of Sylvia Park ($50), Ponsonby ($49) and the CBD ($47).
Association Chief Executive Ashley Church says "There is a pattern of strong growth taking place covering a variety of different and important economic indicators and these bode extremely well for the future of Newmarket."