Location, location, location - Spaces NZ
Location, location, location

Location, location, location

New home improvement centre set to change the face of popular shopping district.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

As the city of Auckland continues to grow, it’s very fabric evolves, as once greenfield sites are developed and other areas undergo zone changes from one usage right to another.

One such area is one of Auckland’s newest suburbs, Stonefields, part of the colloquially known area of “East Auckland”.

From 1936 until the 1980s, Winstone Limited operated a basalt quarry on a large parcel of land bordered by Lunn Avenue to the southwest, Ngahue Drive to the northwest and College Road to the northeast.

Prior to its residential redevelopment into the suburb of Stonefields, the area contained mostly light-industrial enterprises, the aforementioned Winstone Limited being one of the more prominent businesses.

The southwestern corridor of Lunn Avenue has now become a drawcard for retail and hospitality businesses, sporting a range of supermarkets, hardware stores, restaurants and other associated lifestyle outlets.

One of the latest sites to undergo development is 86 Lunn Avenue, the former Auckland head office for Waste Management New Zealand.

“The property was purchased three years ago with plans to develop the 1.5ha site into a ‘one-stop-shop’ destination for businesses related to the home improvement sector,” says Finstar Development Manager, Dave Tippett.

“The WM office building is being refurbished and expanded, with anchor tenant Kitchen Things planning a premium showroom on the ground floor. First floor office tenancies, ideally for complementary businesses such as architects and designers, are also being offered.”

The vision for the 1.5ha site is that it will become the newest high-end home improvements centre, featuring a range of premium retailers and design-related professionals—a 'one-stop-shop' destination for savvy design aficionados.

Mark Jones, Executive Chairman of Jones Family Investments, operator of the Kitchen Things brand, says they had been looking for a while for a site suitable for a new showroom.

“We were looking for a site that would be a good complement to our existing stores and which was accessible to the broader eastern suburbs. We were particularly drawn to this site due to its accessibility to that market, as well as for the already established businesses and the high level of traffic.

“I was also impressed with the flexibility of the building for what it could achieve for us. This will be our biggest showroom in New Zealand and we will be looking to introduce new product ranges not only for the kitchen but also bathrooms. The idea is to use this showroom as a template for further expansion of the Kitchen Things brand.

“Another drawcard was the attention to detail with how the site was going to be developed. It was important to us that the whole centre will act as a one-stop-shop for home improvement. We’re looking to be trading around November/December this year.”

The refurbishment of the former Waste Management offices is not the only plan for the site.

A new 2000m2 building is also planned for the site, with five tenancies ranging from 335m2 up to 550m2.

“A new 2000m2 building is being developed at the Marua Road end of the site, with plans for up to five new tenancies,” says Dave. “Plans for the building envelope have been finalised but there is some flexibility in terms of tenancies within that space, with sizes ranging from 335m2 up to 550m2.”

Dave says window treatments and soft furnishings specialist, Harvey Furnishings, has secured one of these new tenancies. Meanwhile, a third development on the site will be a flagship retail store for Kings Plant Barn, featuring a Cheshire Architects-designed garden centre and cafe.

“Lunn Avenue has transformed greatly in the past 20 years, moving from light industrial to having a more retail focus. The redevelopment of 86 Lunn Ave presents an opportunity for a variety of premium home retail brands to join these high-profile anchor tenants in creating a new, premium home improvement destination and take advantage of an existing client base already frequenting the area.

“Consent for the new buildings is in place and construction has commenced. All tenants are expected to be in place and fully operational by the end of the first quarter 2022, following a staged release.

The site includes 200 car spaces and has frontage on Lunn Ave and rear access connecting to Marua Road.

To learn more about being a part of this new development, contact Colliers International's National Director—Retail Leasing, Leroy Wolland.

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