Vic­to­ria Park Mar­ket re­vival brings week­end stalls back

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Vic­to­ria Park Mar­ket re­turns to its bo­hemian roots to­mor­row.

The once thriv­ing out­door mar­ket­place is wel­com­ing back stall­hold­ers sell­ing arts, crafts and street food to re­vive its empty court­yards and cob­bled lanes.

The mar­ket will trade on Satur­days and Sun­days from 10am to 4pm all year round.

It is a com­plete turn­around from what was pro­posed last year after a three-year $28 mil­lion re­fur­bish­ment fin­ished.

De­vel­op­ers were keen to es­tab­lish the precinct as a hos­pi­tal­ity and bou­tique shop­ping des­ti­na­tion, dis­tanc­ing it­self from its mar­ket moniker.

Tourists look­ing to spend a quick buck at stalls filled with knick-knacks were left con­fused by the makeover.

Wellington res­i­dent Deb Mills told the Auck­land City Har­bour News last year she was sur­prised to find the site with­out its arts, crafts and sou­venir stalls.

Bay­leys re­tail leas­ing spe­cial­ist Leah La Hood, who has been charged with recre­at­ing the mar­ket, says those who loved the orig­i­nal mar­ket­place will now recog­nise the same spirit within the revamped com­plex.

‘‘The peo­ple of Auck­land loved Vic­to­ria Park Mar­ket dur­ing the height of its pop­u­lar­ity in the 1980s and 90s,’’ she says.

‘‘We have re­tained the essence of what was the heart of this wellloved bo­hemian mar­ket­place while in­ter­pret­ing it in a new and mod­ern way.’’

Vic­to­ria Park Mar­ket needs to of­fer a point of dif­fer­ence to com­pete with Auck­land’s many other mar­kets, she says.

The stalls will run along­side the precinct’s stores and restau­rants.

La Hood hopes this will grow foot traf­fic to ben­e­fit ten­ants.

The site was built in 1905 as a waste de­pot and in­cin­er­a­tor com­plex be­fore be­ing trans­formed into a re­tail mar­ket in 1983.

It was bought by the Kitch­ener Group in 2003.

It con­tin­ued to op­er­ate as a mar­ket un­til the re­fur­bish­ment be­gan in 2008.

Photo: BRUCE CLARKE

Roll up: Vic­to­ria Park Mar­ket will now host up to 70 stalls on Satur­days and Sun­days to re­vive the re­fur­bished site.

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