Press Release – Bayleys
Meadowlands Shopping Plaza in the Auckland suburb of Howick is to undergo a $3million+ refurbishment which will modernise the appearance of the retail centre and increase its appeal to both tenants and shoppers.Media Release
Major revamp planned for Meadowlands Shopping Plaza
Meadowlands Shopping Plaza in the Auckland suburb of Howick is to undergo a $3million+ refurbishment which will modernise the appearance of the retail centre and increase its appeal to both tenants and shoppers.
Nicholas Piper, general manager of Bayleys Property Services which manages the centre on behalf of owners Overton Holdings and is project managing the redevelopment, says it will involve a significant makeover of the plaza, located on the corner of Meadowlands Drive and Whitford Road.
“The centre was originally built in the early 1990s and in keeping with the development philosophy on shopping centres prevailing at that time, it has a very inward-focused design,” says Piper.
“The plaza has served the eastern quarter of Auckland well for over 20 years and has enjoyed good community support. However, the time has come to freshen it up and create a more vibrant retail complex which is more appropriate to the area and today’s shopping environment.“
As part of the redevelopment, the existing entranceway will be completely rebuilt to give it a much more modern, welcoming appearance and let more natural light inside the centre, says Mark Ellery of Ellery Muir Design which is overseeing the redesign of the centre.
An additional entrance will be also be created on the western side of the building to provide improved access to the plaza from the external car park which provides approximately 220 parks.
Covered outdoor seating areas will also being created on the western corner of the building for a food and beverage tenancy which will improve the streetscape appeal of the centre and provide an area for community socialising. There will be new signage at the carpark entrance, the carpark’s landscaping will be improved, and the exterior of the building will be repainted, with modernised canopy cladding, lighting and tenant signage.
Ellery says the inside of the building will also be opened up and decluttered. The central area at the front of the plaza will be gutted and the current food hall will be relocated from near the entranceway to the perimeter of the centre and expanded. A central seating area will replace the old food hall space which Ellery says will create a much brighter and inviting entrance area and provide improved visibility for the anchor supermarket tenancy which occupies the rear half of the plaza as well as for other tenancies such as the National Bank.
Progressive Enterprises, one of the original anchor tenants of the plaza, has taken a new 15-year lease over its 3,300 sq m of space which was negotiated by Ed Donald, a retail specialist with Bayleys Auckland. He and Geoff Wyatt, from Bayleys East Tamaki office, are handling the leasing of the revamped centre which will house approximately 30 tenants.
Progressive is rebranding its supermarket from a Woolworths outlet to a Countdown as part of the redevelopment. It has continued to operate while it has been progressively refurbishing its space aisle by aisle.
“Progressive has been the Plaza’s pivotal tenant over the past 20 years and its renewed long-term commitment to the centre and participation in its refurbishment is a huge vote of confidence in the Plaza and its future,” says Donald.
He says Meadowlands Pharmacy, one of the centre’s other original tenants which trades under the Amcal brand, has also reconfirmed its tenancy as have a number of other well established occupants such as the AA, which operates it East Auckland service centre from Meadowlands, and popular beauty treatment business More Than Skin.
Donald says a cafe/bar/restaurant type business is being sought for approximately 150 sq m of space next to the new western entranceway and the redevelopment has also opened up an opportunity for additional food hall tenants.
“We’d also be interested in talking to any other retailers who might want to be part of the redevelopment and repositioning of the Meadowlands Plaza.”
Piper says Overton Holdings, which has a significant retail portfolio in New Zealand and Australia, acquired the Meadowlands Shopping Plaza in 2008 with a view to redeveloping it and also reviewing the tenant mix.
“Overton understands retailing and what is needed to make these types of medium-sized centres successful and are very focused on maintaining good relationships with tenants.”
He says Overton is also keen to extend the opening hours of the centre once the refurbishment is complete. The first stage of this, involving the exterior and entranceway will commence early next year and will be followed a few months later by the interior. The plaza will continue to trade while the refurbishment is taking place.