Downtown demolition making way for new development

  • Opinion
  • May 31, 2016
  • Paul Keane
Downtown demolition making way for new development
The closure of Auckland’s Downtown Shopping Centre on Saturday the 28th May to make way for a major redevelopment of the site by Precinct Properties, represents a new leaf in the book of New Zealand retailing.
Forty one years ago in 1975, Downtown Shopping Centre opened to Petula Clark’s “Downtown”. It was a magical start to a significant shopping landmark in the heart of Auckland’s CBD. Nobody at the time would have imagined that in 2016 the centre would be demolished to make way for a new sparking retail model.

Downtown was in itself a carefully considered project, one of many shopping centres that had been developed in Auckland in the 1970s. This decade that saw the openings of St Lukes, Manukau, Shore City, Glenfield, Henderson Square, Wainuiomata and Maidstone Mall in Upper Hutt. The growth in shopping centre development in the 1970s was spectacular and Downtown was part of that significant growth.
A new centre will emerge on the site which will accommodate not only retail but commercial office space; all linked to an underground rail transport system. This does not remove the vision that the developers had for Downtown in 1975, nor the recognition of that accomplishment.
Since 1975, there has been huge population growth in Auckland, putting pressure on the availability of land, and cost has soared as a result. The original Downtown model (which was effectively just a shopping centre) did not make the best use of the site; hence the Precinct Properties purchase and the undertaking of the new development.
This is the first time in the relatively short history of New Zealand shopping centres that one is being closed for demolition and redevelopment. Other centres built in the same decade continue to trade.
Though some are at best in the throes of a lingering death, others have seen their original model expanded to accommodate the population growth within their trade area, and most continue to perform against increasing competition. We are unlikely to see again shopping centre growth like that which occurred in the 1970s. New centres are being developed, but in far fewer numbers due to the lack of available sites.
Precinct Properties’ vision for the future of a new Downtown is to be applauded. It is a developer’s dream to take over an existing site and create something new that fits in with growing consumer demands. However, the economics, mixed with the range of new retailers who can trade successfully are most important to make the new model work effectively. 
It is unfortunate that Precinct did not take the time to farewell this shopping centre in the final week with a rendition of “Downtown” just one more time. It would have been a suitable finale to a wonderful centre that served the people of Auckland well over a period of 41 years.
​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Readings present revised plan for Courtenay Central

  • Property
  • May 16, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Readings present revised plan for Courtenay Central

The company that owns Courtenay Central in Wellington says it has big plans for redeveloping the complex - which is closed due to earthquake risks.

Read more

How to tell if you're a born retailer

  • Opinion
  • May 16, 2019
  • David Farrell
How to tell if you're a born retailer

Retail is a profession, but true retailers are born not made, says Dave Farrell.

Read more

Sustainable soap wrapper among major winners at Pride In Print Awards

  • Opinion
  • May 15, 2019
  • Sue Archibald
 Sustainable soap wrapper among major winners at Pride In Print Awards

A sustainable, heat sealed soap wrapper that is claimed to saving tonnes of PET plastic film, petrochemical wax and glue from landfill each year, has won a major award in the Pride In Print industry awards. Sue Archibald, Pride in Print Awards manager, shares more.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Inside Little Yellow Bird’s equity crowdfunding campaign

  • News
  • May 15, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Inside Little Yellow Bird’s equity crowdfunding campaign

Wellington social enterprise Little Yellow Bird is seeking to scale its ethical apparel operation to the next level with an equity crowdfunding campaign.

Read more

Auckland design agency wins gold for retail packaging

  • News
  • May 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Auckland design agency wins gold for retail packaging

As a benchmark for impeccably designed packaging of consumer products, The Dieline Awards this year saw creative agency Onfire walk away with recognition for fantastic design for their retail products. We spoke with Matt Grantham, creative director at Onfire Design, about the importance of a strong visual brand in the retail product sector.

Read more

BYO containers policy live from June 1 at Foodstuffs stores

  • News
  • May 14, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
BYO containers policy live from June 1 at Foodstuffs stores

Customers at Foodstuffs supermarkets’ instore butchery, seafood counter, delicatessen and bakery will be able to have food packed into their own clean, leak-proof containers from June 1.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit