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Word. - Paul Gardner talks Newmarket's renaissance

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Paul Gardner is the New Zealand Regional Manager of Centre Experience for Scentre Group, owners and operators of Westfield shopping centres in New Zealand and Australia.

The Westfield Newmarket development is marching ahead and excitement amongst the community is growing. Not just because a brand new, world class Living Centre will soon be on our doorstep, but because Newmarket is experiencing a renaissance. And while it’s fair to say Westfield is part of this resurgence, we certainly don’t define it.

Look around, development in Newmarket is hard to miss.

Step back 40 years, the 1980s brought a new era to Newmarket with the introduction of apartment dwellings and the Two Double Seven Shopping Centre. Both developments made a major impact, by reversing the population downturn and establishing Newmarket as an upmarket retail centre. Fast forward to today and the exponential growth of Newmarket is set to deliver even more.

This orchestrated growth is part of a long term, shared vision across key stakeholders, Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, Newmarket Business Association, developers, educational facilities and all manner of community stakeholders.

Waitemata Local Board’s own Newmarket Laneways Masterplan has seen the gentrification of famous streets, Teed and Osborne, that today reveal an exquisitely curated retail precinct housing top fashion brands and eateries.

Westfield’s own redevelopment of Nuffield Street, revamped transport hubs and ongoing street scaping continue to modernise and beautify this precinct.

The University of Auckland’s Newmarket campus on Khyber Pass Road is a dynamic addition to the area, while a growing number of corporates are basing their businesses right here in Newmarket.

Pipeline projects like the redevelopment of The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery and Noel Leeming sites, along with a string of contemporary new apartment dwellings, is testament to the fact that there is no shortage of infrastructure investment streaming into this quarter.

It’s this vision and optimism for Newmarket, that inspired our own $790 million commitment -  Scentre Group’s most significant investment across our Australian and New Zealand portfolio to-date - which has been 12 years in the planning.

So, when it comes to launching the new Westfield Newmarket to the public, it has never been our intention to be a phoenix rising out of the ground, expecting the masses to come, with little or no connection to the wider community.

We are a committed player within the broader Newmarket ecosystem, because sustainable growth and confidence in the long term can only be achieved by a holistic approach that secures success and growth for the whole community.

From a retail perspective, a period of transition is inevitable. But the overall freshness of offer which will undoubtedly result from the rebalance of the Newmarket equilibrium will produce a stronger, more contemporary and sustainable retail mix for the Newmarket community.

Newmarket represents an opportunity to attract new brands, both local and international, who see the potential to be part of an exceptional retail, services and product mix for the precinct. This will ensure the short-term transition will be replaced by a stronger, more resilient Newmarket with a deeper future.

We’re excited to be part of the emergence of this precinct, characterised by economic investment that will not only work hard to enhance Newmarket’s offer, but that of Auckland and beyond this, New Zealand too.