Prices slashed for mall’s last days

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CATRIN OWEN

The Down­town Queen St mall is heav­ing with peo­ple with prices dropped and stock sell­ing out.

Re­tail­ers are slash­ing their prices be­fore they close on May 28.

The Down­town Shop­ping Cen­tre is clos­ing af­ter 41 years to make way for a $550 mil­lion, 39-level com­mer­cial build­ing and shop­ping cen­tre.

With most shops re­lo­cat­ing to new premises, some smaller re­tail­ers have de­cided to take a break. It’s the end of an era for the small kiosk of Kiwi Jew­ellery.

‘‘I’ve been here 10 years...and it’s a lit­tle sad but it has to hap­pen,’’ man­ager Jane Xu says.

Some shops such as Stevens have been slash­ing their al­ready re­duced prices down an ad­di­tional 50 per cent be­fore open­ing a new store in Lit­tle High St in the CBD. Shops such as Woods’ closed on May 22 due to sell­ing out of stock and oth­ers are half empty.

Precinct Prop­er­ties se­cured the land and will be­gin de­mo­li­tion work mid-June.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Scott Pritchard says re­tail­ers will be given two weeks to clear all their stock.

‘‘The site is com­pletely be­ing taken back to ground and the de­mo­li­tion work is pro­jected to run from June through to Oc­to­ber,’’ he says.

The new re­tail com­po­nent is ex­pected to be open­ing in Oc­to­ber 2018 host­ing about 100 re­tail­ers. Pritchard says while no re­tail­ers are con­firmed as of yet they are hop­ing to con­firm a cou­ple of an­chor ten­ants in the next six months. He says it won’t be a re­gional mall like St Lukes or Sylvia Park, but more a CBD re­tail en­vi­ron­ment.

The of­fice tower is ex­pected to be open­ing in June 2019 and al­ready more than 50 per cent is leased out with PwC as the an­chor ten­ant.

Auck­land Coun­cil and Precinct Prop­er­ties signed a deal in 2015 over the sale of Queen Eliz­a­beth Square and tun­nels will be built un­der­neath to make way for the City Rail Link to con­nect to Brit­o­mart.

The tower is pro­jected to be 172 me­tres tall, which makes it the joint-sec­ond tallest build­ing in Auck­land with the Vero Cen­tre.

Pritchard says the whole project will cost around $680 mil­lion and will be owned by Precinct.

An im­pres­sion of the new Down­town Shop­ping Cen­tre from the cor­ner of Queen St and Cus­toms St.

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