Ratepayer dol­lars for lo­cal mall

Calls for fund­ing to in­vig­o­rate mall, by Cal­lum McGil­livray

North Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE -

‘‘We sim­ply can't do it alone.’’

The North­West Shop­ping Cen­tre wants ratepayer cash to ‘‘ac­ti­vate the cen­tre and the com­mu­nity’’, se­nior mar­ket­ing man­ager Linh Luong said.

Luong, of Stride Prop­erty Group, spoke at the Hen­der­son­Massey Lo­cal Board meet­ing on May 16. Af­ter the ini­tial $125 mil­lion North­West build, Luong said Stride in­vested sig­nif­i­cantly in events such as movies in the square and a busk­ing fes­ti­val in Jan­uary, with­out help from coun­cil.

Auck­land Coun­cil had spent about $70m to date on the West­gate Town Cen­tre de­vel­op­ment, of which the North­West Shop­ping Cen­tre is a part.

Luong said Stride built the shop­ping cen­tre with the view it was a grow­ing area. Since launch­ing, Stride had run a num­ber of ac­ti­va­tion events to try and en­gage with our com­mu­nity, she said.

‘‘We are seek­ing sup­port from the board for fu­ture fam­ily type events. We sim­ply can’t do it alone,’’ Luong said.

When ques­tioned on how much Stride was ask­ing for she said the com­pany ‘‘had no ex­pec­ta­tion’’.

‘‘It’s more about hav­ing this di­a­logue with the board.’’

The listed prop­erty group re­ported ‘‘dis­tributable profit’’ of $18.7m in its in­terim re­port for the year ended Septem­ber 2016. Net profit af­ter in­come tax for the NZX-listed en­tity for the pe­riod was $27.5m.

The mall has a mar­ket­ing bud­get. This was re­liant on both re­tailer and in­vestor con­tri­bu­tions.

Stir­ling Sports North­west man­ager, An­drew Mari­novich, said he hoped more free events will en­cour­age peo­ple in the com­mu­nity to visit the cen­tre - and help lo­cal busi­nesses.

‘‘Since mov­ing from West­gate, it has been dif­fi­cult. Fi­nan­cially we have put a lot of pres­sure on Stride to get stuff done but we are all here for the long run. I signed a lease for four years and hope­fully I can sign on for another four mov­ing for­ward.’’

The North­West rep­re­sen­ta­tives said the open­ing of the coun­cil-funded new com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity and park nearby present op­por­tu­ni­ties for more ac­ti­va­tion events.

The lo­cal board gave ‘‘ten­ta­tive’’ dates for when both projects would be com­pleted - Oc­to­ber for the park and De­cem­ber for the cen­tre.

Fletcher Con­struc­tion were awarded the $29m con­tract to build the com­mu­nity cen­tre.

North­West Two - with restau­rants and of­fice space opened in Oc­to­ber 2016. Stride’s re­port said rev­enue was ex­pected to in­crease earn­ings in the sec­ond half of the year, ended 31 March 2017.

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