Business is welcoming New Zealand’s biggest retail redevelopment, the $790 million Westfield Newmarket, opening the first shops in the 230-store 8.8ha project before the end of September.
Mark Knoff-Thomas, Newmarket Business Association chief executive, said people were most curious to see inside and the scheme would entirely change his area.
“People will welcome all the brands, new and old, in the first stage opening.
“Newmarket will be New Zealand’s epicentre of retail with the best strip and mall shopping, plus entertainment and hospitality, that you can find in New Zealand,” he said.
He predicts a wider area rejuvenation, noting the strong dining and entertainment offering with 10 new restaurants.
ASX-listed Scentre Group has already announced the first stores would open in this year’s third quarter which runs from July till September.
Scentre has also made a new video, Newmarket Behind the Design, featuring New Zealand architect Ken Crosson speaking to Will Drew, responsible for the building design. The video shows the installation of the airbridge to link 277 Broadway with 309 Broadway above Mortimer Pass, explains the orientation of buildings and the involvement of civic artist Peata Larkin.
A prominent feature is the 36m by 6m skypool, a skylight above the entertainment and leisure precinct at 309 Broadway, combining light and water features.
Drew said seven green walls were being developed where 25,000 plants would feature, which would be “80 to 90 per cent native”.
Scentre’s Will Drew says in the video that people were becoming more sophisticated in how they shopped and what they expect from a lifestyle centre, he said.
“People are wanting one place to come and shop, eat, be entertained, meet their friends, bring their family. It’s a much more holistic approach to retail to shopping, far more so than anything in the past,” Drew said.
The buildings at 277 and 309 were “very big footprint buildings. So a number of architectural elements were added into the facade ... to help break down that scale and bulk to ensure it doesn’t sit like a sore thumb on Broadway,” he said.
Crosson said the new structure at 309 Broadway appeared or read like a collection of buildings and Drew said that was deliberate.
Drew said 10 restaurants would open above 309 to be the “jewel in the crown” of the redevelopment.
The new multiplex cinema was visible from the Southern Motorway and had been clad in a translucent polycarbonate material “which we can illuminate from the inside so it should ... glow like a jewellery box”.
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