Kiwi Property has announced its latest expansion to popular centre, Sylvia Park. We talked to Kiwi Property’s manager of shopping centres, Shelly Jenkin, about the addition of the Galleria and who we can expect to fill 18,000 square-metres of retail space.
Sylvia Park already sits as one of biggest shopping precincts in the Southern Hemisphere, but the addition of a new 900 space south car park and the Galleria will put the centre at around 90,000 square metres of retail space.
It was announced last year that Farmers was confirmed as filling 8,000 square-metres of the new area. But interest falls more around the 60 tenants, both domestic and international, who are expected to fill the remaining slots. Some retailers are on a specialty waiting list.
Kiwi Property’s manager of shopping centres, Shelly Jenkin, says there was a high demand from both domestic and international retailers to get within the spaces.
“We’ve got a strong demand both domestically and internationally. Some are retailers either wanting to grow their presence in New Zealand or wanting to establish themselves here at Sylvia Park.”
Yet Kiwi Property is keeping the 60 odd tenants confidential until closer to date of opening, which is scheduled for mid-2020 but has confirmed there will be international brands within the chosen.
“The retailers coming in are still confidential at this stage, so we’ve got a long list of tenants and retailers who are keen to get into Sylvia Park, and normally we won’t announce our key specialty tenants until closer to the opening dates.”
“As we are able to tell we will be sharing the information, but generally these specialty tenancies are announced 12-18 months before opening.”
Also under construction is the new south carpark, bringing the total up to around 5,000. Jenkin says the additional traffic flow has been worked around by consultant specialists, as not to add congestion to the already heavily inhabited area.
The 60 tenants were chosen from Kiwi Property, which decides using a process of trend analysis and talking to already existing tenants in the area.
“We listen to our customers and are constantly in regular contact with retailers both here and internationally. We are very mindful of changing trends in terms of food and leisure, and health and well-being. As well as we are very careful of how we present our centre.”
An interesting aspect of the new Galleria is that rather than expanding outwards, they are expanding upwards. The Galleria will be built on top of the pre-existing centre, bringing it to three storeys of retail space.
“I suppose there's a number of very successful shopping centres around the world that go up and that creates a little bit of excitement. So, when you're walking through a shopping centre, if you can look up, but it kind of gives you that sense of excitement and style, so that you can see what is ahead of you ... With any construction project there are issues, nothing is ever straightforward. But all around we are confident with it and what we will be able to provide.”
The expansion, judging by the artist's renditions, includes light air-space within the Galleria and no lack of glass – which can slow production due to its sensitive nature. Yet Kiwi Property remains confident its construction dates will remain followed.
Artist rendition via Kiwi Property
Responsible for the design is Buchan Group, which has worked with Kiwi Property’s in-house design team to execute the Galleria.
“We’ve been working on this project for many years, and Buchan have worked alongside our internal team to create something that we feel is very special,” says Jenkin. “We have a very large internal team of about 175.”
Construction is due to start mid-March, only three months after construction of the Grove Dining Lane was completed. When questioned whether she thinks the Galleria's new ‘sophisticated café dining’ area will draw away from its newest dining lane, Jenkin is confident there is enough a consumer demand for both to co-exist.
“We think, and our research shows us, that people are wanting different levels of food. So, you've got your traditional food court, you've got your grab-and-go throughout the centre and you've got the Grove, which is an outdoor dining experience. And then the café court will be another level again.”
The $223 million expansion is due to add to Sylvia Park’s customer experience, bringing further revenue for the centre and a bigger pull for international retailers to settle among our shores.
“Our vision for Sylvia Park has always been to create a world-class town centre experience,” says Jenkin. “We’re looking to give our customers an exceptional retail, dining, entertainment and workplace experience. Sylvia Park is already New Zealand’s favourite shopping centre, following some Nielsen research we did last year, and we plan to build on that.”