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New medical and retail hub for council owned site

Health related businesses, food and beverage outlets and other convenience retailers, along with a childcare tenancy, are being sought for a new retail centre adjacent to one of Whangarei’s busiest intersections.

The new Kensington Retail Centre, located at 8 Kensington Avenue on the site of a former Countdown supermarket, will comprise approximately 3360 sq m of mixed use retail and commercial premises with a separate 100-child childcare centre also proposed.

“The property is presently owned by the Northland Regional Council which wishes to see it developed into a commercial centre serving the community,” says Bayleys Northland commercial agent Jan Hutcheson who is handling the leasing of the premises with Neil Campbell and John Haselden from Bayleys’ Whangarei office.

“The project is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2020 and will be a significant suburban retail centre located at the very busy intersection of Kensington Ave, Kamo Rd and Nixon St – a high profile site with massive road exposure to an average passing traffic count of approximately 20,000 vehicles per day,” Hutcheson says.

“A large General Practice medical facility has already been secured as an anchor tenant on the west side of the proposed building and discussions are also in progress with further medical users, hospitality and general retailers for premises on the east side of the building.

“This centre will include leading national brands as well as a mix of local businesses and will source customers from the growing local population, the wider catchment area and traveling motorists.”

A standalone 1000 sq m childcare centre – with a 50/50 spilt of indoor and outdoor space – is also planned as part of the development.

“Well situated at the northern end of the property, the childcare centre will benefit from easy access with road entry and parking at its doorstep,” says Neil Campbell. “The facility will have excellent visibility from Kamo Rd, offering outstanding branding profile potential to high volumes traffic coming in and out of the city.”

The Northland Regional Council has appointed Argyle Estates, a long established property development and management company, involved in many aspects of commercial property throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific, to manage the redevelopment. Argyle is working with Bayleys as the sole agency for marketing and leasing of the premises.

Argyle Estates development manager Gerome Powell says the redesign of the property will result in most of the former supermarket premises being rebuilt, apart from its foundations, concrete floor and some structures.

“The development will also incorporate over 100 parking spaces, ensuring maximum convenience for all tenants and their customers,” says Powell. “At this stage it is planned to have approximately 1500 sq m of medical and health related tenancies including the GP practice, various other medical and health care specialists and a gymnasium.”

The balance of the retail centre will comprise a mix of food and beverage and neighbourhood convenience retailers such as grocery store and a café.

“The final occupancy make up will be determined by tenant demand,” Powell says. “Seeking expressions of interest from tenants well before the scheduled completion provides flexibility to configure premises to suit an occupant’s requirements. Basically, tenancy sizes ranging from 80 to 800 sq m can be catered for.

“The forward planning will also enable us to secure the right mix of tenants which will complement each other and provide services that will be of value to surrounding residential neighbourhoods.”

John Haselden says the site benefits from its location on a major intersection with three access points into and out of the property. The surrounding area has a range of other established retail businesses including a popular takeaway, Thai restaurant, liquor store and Z service station.

The eastern end of Kensington Rd near the new centre is also home to a cluster of medical services providers including a private surgical hospital as well as radiology and imaging specialists.

“One of the city’s leading after-hours pharmacies located in a neighbouring building will be an integral part of the medical hub and be unaffected by the redevelopment. The new Kensington Retail Centre will become the central heart of the surrounding retail and medical activity,” Haselden says.

Kensington Ave is a major road connecting Kamo Rd to the north/south motorway bypass (SH1). Kamo Rd is also a busy arterial linking the northern residential areas with Whangarei’s CBD – approximately 2kms away. It is a major commuter road for local residents as well as north/south travellers that pass through central Whangarei.

“The project is an exciting addition to Whangarei, and along with other key developments recently completed, or currently underway, is part of a groundswell of change and new businesses entering the market,” says Haselden.

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