The new Westfield Newmarket, Auckland which opened in early October, has set a new standard in food and hospitality for New Zealand with its suite of modern cafes, food stores, The Eatery Food Hall and the amazing Rooftop On Broadway
The “jewel in the crown” of the development, the centre’s dining and entertainment offer is a design driven dining destination for the entire family.
The story of how this redevelopment came about and the go-to market strategies employed make for a good case study in how to position your development and then keep it at the forefront of its community in the face of a significant new property.
Future Food has enjoyed a 25 year working partnership with the property going back as far as 1994 when it was then known as 277 Broadway.
Francis Loughran worked in partnership with the various masterplanning and development teams at Westfield to confirm and implement the food and hospitality vision for what has become, seemingly overnight, New Zealand’s premium shopping and dining destination.
What is important to note is that Westfield Newmarket’s transformation was the product of a gestation period that stretched over a decade.
Newmarket is one of Auckland’s most established and desirable lifestyle inner-suburbs. Despite being barely four kilometres from Queen Street in Auckland’s CBD, it has long been considered the primary shopping destination for people living in the heart of Auckland.
Back in 2005, 277 Broadway had retail sales of NZ$120 million – a good result for a relatively small centre with only about 60 specialty stores and a supermarket. Two department stores were nearby, but not part of the mall, and together these properties formed the core of the suburb’s offer.
To counter emerging competition from suburban malls, Westfield worked up a plan to amalgamate several blocks abutting its 277 Broadway property. In 2009, Westfield received permission from local authorities to link the two main parcels by an airbridge, clearing the way to create a unified precinct.
At that time, Westfield envisaged a project that would cost $250 million and double the size of the retail precinct. These plans were built on the back of a redevelopment scheme that had been devised by Auckland One, the previous owner of the 277 Broadway centre.
As the economy pulled itself out of the doldrums caused by the financial crisis and the competitive landscape continued to evolve with Botany Town Centre and Sylvia Park growing and expanding, Westfield’s plans also continued to evolve.
In Auckland, the evidence from the success at other suburban malls—increasing their gross lettable area and diversity of offering—was proof that Westfield’s “lifestyle centre” concept would work in the New Zealand market.
In February 2018, the shopping centre closed for a major extension project that would take 20 months to complete. What has emerged is a 88,150sq m site that is home to 230 shops, New Zealand’s first David Jones and 2,800 carparks.
Food and hospitality coupled with entertainment makes Westfield Newmarket the go-to place for food, fun, friends, film and business entertaining. It is Auckland’s first rooftop dining and entertainment precinct.
The alfresco indoor and outdoor dining terrace on the top level of the Australian shopping mall operator’s newly-developed lifestyle centre is home to food hall cafes, eateries, bars and restaurants, including celebrity chef Nic Watt at Inca, a Peruvian style full service restaurant and White and Wong’s modem Asian restaurant and Sardine cocktail bar.
Something & Social trades from 8.30am for breakfast, while other operators Rockpool Group’s The Bavarian, Mediterranean restaurant Bodrum Market, Corner Burger, Island Gelato, Ippudo Ramen and New York Grill, among others, open from 11am to late.
Future Food brought 40 years of speciality food and hospitality skills from a range of global projects in the areas of menu development, design reviews, operational planning, customer-centric service standards, visual mechanising and styling.
The formation of a first-time speciality food consultancy and food styling team has resulted in state of the art food and hospitality tenancies that present beautifully and function to ensure service excellent.
Francis’ personal commitment to this and many other Westfield project is one of there is “no finishing line when it comes to food and service” and image is everything when it comes to hospitality.