A special retailer is being sought for a refurbished heritage building on Auckland’s sought-after Queen St. The availability of the 150-year-old former Bank of New Zealand Tower is a sign of “frenetic” retail leasing activity on the Queen St strip, says Bayleys Real Estate leasing agent Meredith Graham.
The former BNZ building now contains a new development called Queen’s Rise. This includes an upmarket food court, a New World Metro supermarket, a corporate fitness studio, childcare facility, 25 levels of commercial premises and 655 square metres of street-level floor space which can be leased as two separate sites or one larger space.
“The strategy is that Queen’s Rise will be a multi-faceted ‘magnet’ – with visitors attracted through employment in the offices above and the attraction of the Queen’s Rise food and beverage outlets,” leasing agent Leah La Hood says. “Combined, these separate pieces of the commercial jigsaw will pull in a substantial amount of foot traffic.”
She says the neo-classical façade of the former BNZ building mirrors the architecture of high-end department stores in cities like London and Paris, making its two retail spaces best suited to designer consumer brands.
“The 150-year old building is one of the finest heritage character structures remaining in Queen Street, and is befitting of a style-orientated brand tenant or tenants.”
Leasing agent Meredith Graham says Queen St’s $40 million upgrade in 2007 has resulted in a 25 percent increase in pedestrian foot traffic on weekdays. Her list of major retail changes on the strip includes:
- Coffee vendor Nespresso moving into premises on the corner of Queen Street and Customs Street.
- Menswear retailer Hugo Boss has signed up the space vacated by Michael Hill Jeweller at 44 Queen Street, while in a domino effect, Michael Hill is relocating to a shop on the corner of Vulcan Lane and Queen Street.
- Beauty products retailer Elizabeth Arden has found a new home at 62 Queen Street next to the Quest on Queen Hotel.
- Clothing and fashion accessory label Global Culture is establishing a presence at 94 Queen Street, directly opposite Queen’s Rise.
- Life Pharmacy is taking over the lease of the former Rip Curl outlet at 101 Queen Street.
Graham believes the Queen’s Rise space will appeal to major brands such as sportswear apparel labels and other lifestyle brands.
“CBD retail is supported by the surrounding corporate population during the week, along with both international and domestic visitors staying in the central city’s hotels over the seven day cycle,” Graham says.
“That CBD customer demographic seeks a different shopping experience to a suburban mall. The customer spend is more discretionary than necessity-based. Queen’s Rise by its very nature delivers that premium shopping perception.”