Scentre Group announced today the plans for the long-awaited refurbishment of the Westfield 277 mall in Newmarket. The brand-new space will include Auckland’s first David Jones.
277 has long been a staple of Newmarket, yet obviously falling behind as surrounding streets such as Teed and Nuffield increase both their retail and hospitality offerings. Now the space is set to be the heart of Newmarket as the $790 million redevelopment officially starts.
Incorporating multiple sites over four and a half hectares, the Broadway site will be home to Auckland’s first David Jones department store, a new-format Farmers department store, Countdown supermarket, Event Cinemas and more than 230 new specialty stores.
David Jones has been in New Zealand, down in Wellington, for only two years. Now the move will see its second flagship right in Newmarket, creating 150 jobs.
Greg Miles, COO of Scentre Group, says the new renovations were long overdue and expects more retailers to follow suit and express interest in opening within the mall.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of vibrancy in the New Zealand market in the last couple of years, after such a strong period of economic growth, especially with those luxury retailers coming in. We expect that there will be other followers that will see the success that they’re having in the market, and we think it’s a great time to capitalise on that interest.”
Sentre Group has been involved with Newmarket for a while, giving the group first-hand knowledge into its main demographic. Miles says the research was still a key part in the development stages and David Jones stuck out as a good fit.
“I think this was absolutely needed, I think that the introduction of David Jones to Auckland is ultimately a fantastic catalyst for success. They will offer something quite different to what another department stores offer. I think it’ll be a catalyst for other new brands to establish in Newmarket and build on the flow of new brands that have been coming here for the last few years now.”
Miles compliments Newmarket’s vibrant reputation, saying the affluent market is a perfect place to grow Sentre Group's experience-based offers.
“The people here have a desire to have places to go and meet people, to create an experience. Our business is much more focused on the experience side of things, so the food and everything will be very different – it will be mature and on trend. Hopefully bits of Ponsonby and other cool parts of Auckland we will be able to bring in here to create an eclectic mix of great places people want to be.”
A lot of the designs were done by Scentre Group's 500-strong in-house design and construction team, with outside collaborations for more specialty areas.
The new refurbishment will stretch over to Broadway where the old Farmers once stood. Tall glass windows and deep shades of grey are seen in the below renditions. The new space brings in what the old was missing - light and greenery.
The renditions show architectural style coming through with textured wall panels and a roof top dining area. Inside is a mix of cream-coloured walls and flooring paired with unique light pairings. Free space is decked with mirrored columns, which add space and a conversation piece for consumers.
Marble tiles throughout the main area and gold fittings suit the current trends that are often seen in large spaces. The outside dining areas are notably ‘air-space’-inspired, with exposed brick, water features and greenery adding to the atmosphere.
Miles says offering a premium department store these days revolves a lot around the consumer experience and what retailers can offer the customers.
“I think that retail is evolving, still over 90 percent of retail is done in person. But there is no doubt that people are much more excited when its experience-based rather than commodity based. I think it does give you a greater opportunity to be successful if you’re offering something different.”
See the fly-through of the mall rendition below: