Speculation over Sylvia Park’s next big retail lease has been rife since the country’s largest shopping centre announced its two-hectare Galleria expansion in June. Centre owner Kiwi Property finally broke the suspense with an announcement naming Galleria’s anchor retailer this week.
New Zealand-owned department store operator Farmers has been named as Galleria’s anchor retailer, leasing 8,000 square metres of space to create a new two-level flagship department store.
Public speculation over the identity of the retailer to fill that anchor space has explored everything from a second Kiwi branch of Australian department store David Jones to a new large-format international player such as Ikea, Costco or Aldi.
Aubrey Cheng, manager – retail leasing, confirmed there had been international inquiries: “From the moment we announced our planned expansion of Sylvia Park, we have enjoyed strong tenant enquiry from quality local retail brands, as well as in-demand international retailers, some of whom, if secured, would be new to the New Zealand market.”
However, Kiwi Property chief executive Chris Gudgeon says the message from Sylvia Park’s shoppers has been clear: “It is now 10 years since we first opened our doors to customers at Sylvia Park, and the consistent message we have received from our shoppers is that they would love to see Farmers at Sylvia Park.”
“Farmers is an iconic and much loved New Zealand brand and a perfect fit for our expansion plans for the centre, which could comprise up to 20,000 sqm of additional retail space,” says Gudgeon.
Kiwi Property will be in a position to begin work on the Galleria expansion project by the middle of next year, following approval from its board.
Shoppers hanging out for a new crop of international arrivals shouldn’t put away their shopping totes just yet. The planned Galleria expansion, which Farmers would anchor, will feature:
· New international brands and concept stores including selected retailers from Sylvia Park’s current waiting list of specialty tenants
· A next generation, sophisticated and welcoming café court, and
· New multi-deck carparks with seamless transition from the surrounding road network.
It is anticipated that the Galleria expansion could be completed in 2020. Kiwi Property has recently released an online tool allowing visitors to take a virtual tour of the centre via Google Maps. The tool is available here.