Challenge to Scentre and Panuku: Get Manukau Upgraded by 2022 #BetterAuckland #Manukau

Key anchor tenant in need for upgrade if Manukau Transform by Panuku is to work


With the announcement of Zara coming to Sylvia Park in the near future this particular Tweet caught my attention:


I replied the following:

I doubt Scentre (Westfield) lifted a finger (happy to be proven wrong) given their lacklusture renewal program


And Scentre’s current situation in Auckland will give enough credence for me to hold thought. While Scentre (we know it as Westfield) have resource consents to expand St Lukes Mall (their flag mall) they have being honestly dithering around with the St Lukes extension since pre Super City and at this rate I dont see them starting any time soon either. To make things more “interesting” for Scentre in Auckland is that while they are selling off some of their malls (and will keep four as a result (Albany, Newmarket, St Lukes and Manukau)) the apparent dithering with St Lukes comes at a cost to the other three main malls in their portfolio in Auckland. That cost is no upgrade plans in the foreseeable future apart from St Lukes.


Now Auckland is still facing growth in the mall market with Lynn Mall, Pakuranga Plaza, Sylvia Park and Shore City all facing renewals or expansions while a new mall opened up at Westgate. H&M and Zara arriving at Sylvia Park (which can be accessed by train) demonstrate a debate point I had mentioned earlier in the year: Rebirth of the Mall: Are Council Planners Selling Us Short via the Unitary Plan? #AKLPols. Also Manukau is the most southern of the malls in Auckland with the next mall somewhere in Te Rapa north of Hamilton. Ultimately though it brings Council and the communities of Southern Auckland  to a question that needs to be answered.


That question is what to do with the Manukau Mall?

Manukau development sites Land owned by Auckland Council
Manukau development sites
Land owned by Auckland Council


As you can see Manukau Mall (owned by Scentre) is the largest building in Manukau City Centre and acts a primary anchor point to both Manukau City Centre itself and other facilities within Manukau including Rainbows End. The car parks around the mall however, are owned by Auckland Council and leased back to Scentre on a 25-year program. With Manukau endorsed by the Auckland Development Committee as a Transform-class centre for urban renewal (Panuku: The Presentations and The Work Ahead for Panuku #BetterAuckland) attention to the Mall will come up as part of the Transform program.

Simply put if your key anchor tenant (the mall) is not part of the Transform program then we are left with a pretty big hole right in the centre of Manukau as everything else undergoes urban renewal. Another way of looking at it is changing your outfit for a night out but you didnt change your shirt that is a tad old and worn out. Same situation with the Mall in wider Manukau.


Some stats on Manukau Mall

KEY STATS AND FIGURES – Manukau (as of December 2014)



  • TOTAL ANNUAL RETAIL SALES $246,300,000 ($212m for 2013)



  • Population catchment: 393,000 or the entire Southern Initiative area per the Auckland Plan



And as a comparison I have taken the stats for St Lukes as well:

KEY STATS AND FIGURES – St Lukes (as of December 2014)






  • Population catchment: 371,000



Manukau Mall is the second biggest mall at the moment in terms of number of retailers (199) with Sylvia Park the biggest at 207. To be fair to Scentre with Manukau I have noticed an upscaling of retail outlets in the western wing and northern corridor with more higher end retailers making their presence known. However, Manukau is at capacity retailer wise with occupancy rate over 100% meaning if there is a bordered up shop front it wont be for long as the fit out is done.

But the capacity issue even at 199 retailers brings me to my main point of this post.


Panuku and Scentre are going to have to partner up and by means available and get the mall expanded by 2022 if the Transform program is to fully succeed. And by expansion I mean taking a leaf out of both Lynn Mall and Sylvia Park’s expansion and getting some new entertainment/dining laneways sorted, a new office tower complex, more space for 50-100 more retailers and even an apartment block either above the mall or over the surface car parks owned by the Council. If we were really ambitious you could even attach an Ikea to the Mall complex: IKEA, Auckland and Panuku @DevelopmentAKL. Where To Put an IKEA? #AKLPols.

Though through this post I have said expand Manukau Mall I do remember this from 2014: What If: We Transformed our Mall-Centric Centres Into Something more Urban? [Updated]


So will Panuku and Scentre partner up and engage on one of the more complex parts of the Manukau Transform program – that is upgrading the mall?


Will through the Transform program the primary anchor tenant be left behind leaving a gaping hole in what will become a Transformed (renewed) urban fabric?


Manukau Plaza 1980 and 1990 Source: Auckland Council - Manukau Research Centre
Manukau Plaza 1980 and 1990
Source: Auckland Council – Manukau Research Centre
Manukau Plaza 2015
Manukau Plaza 2015
Manukau Southern End 3.1 Money shot with blank lot 59
Manukau Southern End 3.1 Money shot with blank lot 59