Downtown Shopping Centre
Westfield Downtown as seen from the Queen Street intersection, looking north
|Opening date||30 April 1975|
|Closing date||28 May 2016|
|Management||Colliers International Real Estate Management|
|Owner||Precinct Properties New Zealand|
|No. of stores and services||86|
|No. of anchor tenants||3|
|Total retail floor area||12,417 m2 (133,660 sq ft)|
|No. of floors||3|
Downtown Shopping Centre, formerly Westfield Downtown, was a smaller shopping centre with 12,417 m² gross lettable area in the Auckland CBD, Auckland City, New Zealand. It was situated at 11–19 Customs Street West between Lower Albert Street and the Britomart Transport Centre. In late 2012, it was sold by Westfield to Precinct Properties Holdings New Zealand Limited, formerly AMP NZ Office Limited (ANZO). It closed on 28 May 2016 and by 23 November had been demolished. A highrise is being built on the site, with the future City Rail Link going through the foundations of the building.
The centre (opened 30 April 1975) had approximately 80 stores on three floors, with the three major stores being The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery and Postie Plus. It was one of the few Westfield Group malls that did not provide a supermarket, but was also the only proper mall in the entire CBD area. It was also known for being covered almost completely by huge exterior billboards, which repeatedly drew the ire of Council officers.
In 2005, the centre had retail sales of NZ$56.9 million, and 5.8 million customer visits per year. These were mostly CBD workers, tourists and the growing inner-city population. However, the centre had been called Westfield's most underperforming shopping centre in New Zealand. Lying in the middle of a much more densely built up CBD and being considered underdeveloped with only three storeys above ground, various other plans for the site were mooted during its latter years. The centre was valued at NZ$79.1 million (2009 data).
In 2008, Westfield received approval via non-notified resource consent for a 41 storey office skyscraper (including a 2 level retail podium) on the site. The permission came under fire, as it was granted without protection requirements for a future rail tunnel from Britomart Transport Centre, which would have to pass under the building. However, in October 2008, ONTRACK noted that it had reached an agreement in principle with the owners of Westfield Downtown to allow the tunnel route to be threaded through the future foundations.
The Downtown Shopping Centre closed on 28 May 2016 and by 23 November had been demolished. It is being replaced with a 36-storey skyscraper which will include a new shopping centre in the lower levels. Auckland Council and proprietors Precinct Properties struck a deal to include tunnels for the City Rail Link directly underneath the premises.
- Westfield Downtown Archived 8 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine. (from the Westfield Group corporate homepage. Retrieved 15 August 2007.)
- Councillors stand fast against more Downtown signage Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. – The Bob Dey Property Report, Tuesday 20 September 2005. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
- Gibson, Anne (17 April 2006). "Mega mall looms over retailers". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- "Westfield NZ property portfolio slips below $3 billion". National Business Review. NZPA. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- Public get no say on waterside skyscraper – The New Zealand Herald, Tuesday 22 April 2008, A1
- Rudman, Brian (5 May 2008). "Brian Rudman: Rubber-stamp for Westfield's 41-storey monstrosity beggars belief". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- Dearnaley, Mathew (14 October 2008). "Tunnel deal brings rail loop step closer". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- Catherine Gaffaney (22 May 2016). "Last week for shoppers at Auckland downtown mall". NZ Herald.
- "Watch $850m project: preparing for NZ's biggest commercial development". NZ Herald. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
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