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Tasty new offering to central Auckland retail scene

Tasty new offering to central Auckland retail scene

Plans have been unveiled for the latest mixed-use residential and retail tower block to be built in Auckland’s central business district.

The 29-storey Park Residences development on the corner of Albert and Swanson streets is to be built by the Conrad Group, and will include 14 retail units at street level, and a 19-site food court spread over two levels. The location overlooks St Patrick’s Square.

Construction of the tower is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2014, with completion expected at the end of 2016. The retail and food court operations, and residential apartments will all be available for occupancy and tenancy simultaneously – ensuring an instant customer base.

The 14 retail shops have street frontage to both Albert and Swanson streets and feature a four metre high internal stud, polished concrete floors, and space for illuminated signage. The units are also being sold freehold and will range in size from 10 square metres to 50 square metres, with prices starting at $445,000.

Meanwhile, freehold units within the Park Residences food court will range in size from 18 square metres to 28 square metres and are priced from $435,000. There will be 17 units on the ground floor, with two units on the upper mezzanine floor containing outdoor searing overlook St Patrick’s Square.

All retail and food court units within Park Residences are being sold by Bayleys Real Estate. Bayleys’ Inner-city commercial sales and leasing specialist Millie Liang said the Auckland Unitary Plan unveiled for consultation earlier this year had underscored Conrad’s development strategy for combining retail and foodservice premises within apartment dwellings in the heart of the city.

Ms Liang said food court tenancies within Park Residences would be selected on a complimentary basis to encompass a broad range of ethnic culinary styles – including Chinese, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Malaysian, and Middle Eastern. In an aim to create a boutique and high-end feel to food court, only stand-alone operators would be offered space within Park Residences.

“The evolution of CBD food courts in Auckland over the past decade has been supported by their split marketing appeal. By day they are utilised by a ‘9 – 5’ client base from the surrounding offices, while at nights and on weekends they are populated by residents living in adjacent apartment complexes,’ Ms Liang said.

“Kitchen space in some of the smaller apartment blocks around town is rather confined, and occupants therefore like to eat out as an alternative. With a high percentage of Asian residents and tertiary students living in apartments, their culinary preferences automatically define the product offering of operators within central city food courts.

“With the convenience of the St Patrick’s Square park at the rear of the food court, there is a high expectation that there will be a considerable uptake of take-away lunches during the day, with customers enjoying the grassed and shaded areas outside. Obviously, the food court interior will come into its element during winter when the same customer base will most likely choose to eat under cover.

“The double height of the retail units rising up to the mezzanine floor has been designed to provide an expansive open-plan environment.”

Ms Liang said the adjoining retail sites within Park Residences would suit low margin/high volume operations, as well potentially for health and beauty practitioners’ premises, or small consultancy-based businesses.

“Albert Street has a high foot traffic count from office workers within an immediate 500 metre radius, and is also the main route for Birkenhead Transport buses heading to the North Shore,” she said.

Over the past nine years, Conrad Properties Group has been responsible for establishing most of Auckland’s biggest inner-city residential apartment blocks, including: The Eclipse, The Federal, Aura, Altitude, Volt, Zest Apartments, Stamford Apartments, and The Harvard.

The Park Residences replicates Conrad’s Queens Residences mixed-use tower in Queen Street opposite the Town Hall, which has seen the establishment of 60 retail outlets occupying a total lettable floor space of approximately 819 square metres. As with Park Residences, the corner site Queens Court development within the Queens Residences block features a centralised food court with dual-fronting retail units.


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