2015 was a good year for the retail sector, and early indications are that stores had a good Christmas too. December is the busiest time of the year for retailers. They’ll move mountains to make sure that new shops (and shopping centres) are open in time for Christmas trading.

Up until 2007, the retail sector was on a roll, and new shopping centres were being built all over the place. That changed when the recession hit in 2008 (and online shopping has no doubt had a big influence as well).

Retail development has been coming back to life over the last couple of years, and 2015-2016 sees the biggest expansion since the GFC. These centres are all shown on the RCG Development Tracker page (not to mention apartments, terraces and a host of other things).

In Auckland, we’ve already had the NorthWest Shopping Centre open out in Westgate. This was the first “new build” regional mall since Westfield Albany opened in 2007. At a more urban level, Lynnmall opened its new Brickworks precinct.

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The Brickworks at Lynnmall. Source: Kiwi Property

On a smaller scale, there are the centres that consist of a supermarket and a few small shops, usually of the ‘day-to-day’ shopping variety. The new Countdown-based centre in Hobsonville falls into this category, and even the first stage of the Ormiston Town Centre (based around Pak ‘N Save) for that matter. In Christchurch, there were two new ones, Spitfire Square at the airport, and The Landing at Wigram.

2016 will be a reasonably big year for retail too, with new centres like Tauranga Crossing and (in Westgate again) Zone 7, a large format centre.

Although the Christchurch CBD rebuild still has some way to go, three of the largest retail/ office developments – The Crossing, the BNZ Centre (aka Cashel Square) and The Terrace – will have their first stages open in time for Christmas.

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The Crossing – soon to be the largest shopping centre in the Christchurch CBD. Source http://www.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz/blog/2015/3/vision-for-the-crossing-unveiled

Last August, I wrote:

With ongoing population growth, and some niches emerging, there will be more opportunities for retail – but with fewer new centres than last decade. And if the economics of new malls don’t stack up, could we see renewed interest in the “high street”?

Rhetorical question that one, the answer is “yes”.

As for residential development, December/ January has been a bit quiet in terms of new launches – real estate agents try to get these launched at least a few weeks before Christmas, otherwise they’ll leave them until the new year. Summer is obviously a busy time for builders, with long days, so it’s all go on various building sites around the place (I can hear one out my window right now). There’s a few projects finishing up this summer as well – Summit on Symonds, The Orange, The Seddon or Parkview Residences to name a few. More on that next month.

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19 comments

  1. Its a pity that Davenport wharf got a treatment that is slippery people from the area are worried when its raining .We have had a number of calls from concerned Devenport locals who thought the product was made by me

  2. Brickworks looks wonderful, but…
    1. the minigolf is too cramped, feels cheap
    2. restaurants suffering a few teething problems. been to several… less than impressed… but let’s give them a few months
    3. cinema is AWESOME. cheap, comfortable seats

    Now, if they can just do something about a few more bars and liquor stores, I won’t need to ever leave the Lynn!

    1. That’s good to hear about the cinemas. We are right by St Lukes so it tends to monopolise our movie spend, but once the Brickworks restaurants hit their stride, I’d be keen to try it out – most likely would jump the train from work out west for dinner and a movie (picking up the other half on the way)…

      1. Reading Cinemas are the ones at New Lynn, $10 tickets on all movies apparently. Maybe we should meet up for one Sam!

        1. West city cinemas in Henderson now have $8.50 all the time to compete with New Lynn. Competition is good! Now Henderson needs a Brickworks type development.

  3. Great picture of The Crossing coming to Christchurch John. The interesting effect to look for in Christchurch is if/when does all the fine-grain commercial/retail developments come to the CBD. There is certainly a new feel to the CBD with the likes of the completion of Margaret Mahy playground, the Art Gallery, the bus exchange and good progress on some anchor projects like the Justice buildings and the big scale retail developments you mention.

    The purpose of the Christchurch anchor projects was it would stimulate other developments. So far these have been large scale big corporate affairs. But cities need the small scale, the quirky too…..

  4. Great news regarding renewed interest in the “high street”. I would love to see the continued survival and enhancement of the villages that were cannibalised in the past by the St Lukes Mall, despite its soon-to-come increase in size.

  5. Sylvia Park has big expansion plans also – did I hear that right?

    Big mixed use opportunity there on the RTN if zoning allows.

    1. Yup, Sylvia Park’s owners are currently looking at a big expansion, I believe they’re planning to make a decision on that this year. That would quite possibly include office as well as retail uses.

  6. I read that the planned retail expansion alone means an increase of about 30%.

    Re the office space, yes that looks to be going on the perimeter rather than on top.

    No mention of any plans for residential.

    1. I think they were planning on doing office buildings along the Mt Wellington Highway edge, which would probably be considered an urban design improvement over the existing at-grade parking.
      Retail would be above the existing mall for the most part, i.e. it’d add more space along a second level.
      Kiwi Property have said somewhere or other that they wouldn’t do apartments themselves, but realise that it’s a potential future use. I expect they’d partner with an experienced apartment developer to do it, but that would probably be some years away.

  7. You won’t see an improvement in Auckland’s High St with all the current old farts opposing progress. I walked down High St the other day and it’s a dirty little carpark alleyway.

  8. One thing i haven’t seen anything about on here – apparently the big Orakei Point development is off? That’s the one that was to be integrated with Orakei train station and a retail/apartment complex. Does anyone have more background on this? Seems a shame as that looked to be an ambitious and groundbreaking development.

    1. If you look at the DT page I’ve got it listed as “on hold”. I have sort of been meaning to write a “where are they now” post about developments that seem to have disappeared/ been put on hold/ been cancelled, but haven’t had a chance yet. For Orakei Village (renamed from Orakei Point), there were some articles in the Herald last year which explained where it was at – this is the latest one I think http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/71043778/Buyers-pulling-out-of-Orakei-Bay-Village-say-they-were-misled

      1. John, EQ Groups website page for Orakei Bay Development indicates that as far as that developer is concerned Orakei Point development as planned is dead as a do-do – as of late 2015.

        Instead they’re planning on allowing building on the western side only of the railway line. See here for the (scant) details – both of the announcement and alternative plans.

        From reading the announcement, it seems that the long rumoured issue about the Auckland Council requirement for the overbuild/enclosure of the railway line to be “explosion proof”, given the dangerous goods that travel through the rails there on containers to/from POAL, and KiwiRail’s insistence that they didn’t and wouldn’t pay to make the “lid” of the railway explosion proof, means its finally became too much cost and effort to continue as planned.

        1. And it looks like 88 Broadway has gone the same way as per this page.

          Probably the same issue of building over/enclosing railway tracks as at Orakei is simply “too expensive” on a per-apartment basis.

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