Kiwi fashion designers are being encouraged to consider opening their first retail outlet in a new area of Milford Shopping Centre on Auckland’s North Shore.
Up to 20 shops will be added to the mall with the $50 million refurbishment and expansion, which was due to be finished before Christmas 2018.
The aim was to expand on what was already doing well, with lots of people already coming from outside the suburb for the fashion shopping offered, said Sara Johnson, general manager of marketing and communications for centre owner NZ Retail Property Group.
“We’ve been talking to New Zealand designers to consider what we’ve got. We’re more interested in bringing like-minded fashion retailers together than offering the same as you would expect at other malls.”
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The expansion will add 2000 square metres but Johnson said the mall would still be boutique, rather than being the scale of a big Westfield mall or Sylvia Park.
The shopping centre revamp was the first component of the larger Milford Living development.
The next stage would be building a 115-luxury apartment block above and around the centre, called The Milford, which was due to open in mid 2019.
Johnson said having apartments above and around a centre was unique in New Zealand – most apartments are next to a shopping centre or out on their own.
“They can be above shops but they’re particularly strip shops [not a mall]. It hasn’t been done yet but it’s very common in Australia, the States and other countries.”
She expected other shopping centre owners to follow suit, as the diversity was good for the centre.
“It creates a much, much more vibrant centre than just retail,” she said.
Johnson anticipated many of the 230 to 250 people expected to live in The Milford would regularly dine out in the shopping centre, due to the “ease of access”.
“There will be an uplift for the centre with having those residents above but for greater Milford as well; we’re expecting the whole village to be benefiting from this.”
The Milford apartments were selling now while the next apartment block, Omana North, was still being planned as a separate structure on the northern corner of the land. Fewer than 100 apartments would be in Omana North but there was potential for another stage.
The Milford Shopping Centre would remain open during the work but the Milford Rd car park and entrances would be closed from July.
Shoppers could park in the underground car parks or the Auckland Council-owned car park off Kitchener Rd, the main road through Milford.