Ratepayer dollars for local mall
Calls for funding to invigorate mall, by Callum McGillivray
‘‘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.