Retailers sought for Queen’s Rise

Queen StreetRetail operators are being sought as the ground floor anchor tenants for the newly refurbished Queen’s Rise heritage building in Auckland’s Queen St.

The former Bank of New Zealand Tower at 125 Queen St has a total of 655sqm of street level floor space on offer, either as two separate sites which can be partitioned off or as one seamless space.

The two retail sites within Queen’s Rise are being leased by Bayleys Real Estate through leasing agents Leah La Hood and Meredith Graham.

La Hood said the grand nature and profile of the historic facade lends itself to hosting designer consumer brand tenants.

“At some two metres high, set back into the building’s main structure and framed by large plinths made of Tasmanian sandstone, the six windows are the ‘eyes’ to the store’s interior,” she said.

“The 150-year-old building is one of the finest heritage character structures remaining in Queen St and is befitting of a style-orientated brand tenant or tenants. Entrance to the retail sites will be through two large heritage doors.

“Inside, the retail spaces are being refurbished while retaining the heritage aspects and grandeur of the entrance way, while simultaneously adding a modern open-plan footprint to the shopping zones.

“The strategy is that Queen’s Rise will be a multifaceted magnet, with visitors attracted through employment in the offices above and the attraction of the Queen’s Rise food and beverage outlets. Combined, these separate pieces of the commercial jigsaw will pull in a substantial amount of foot traffic.”

La Hood explained that the two street-level spaces available to lease are part of a much bigger refurbishment and repositioning of the Queen’s Rise tower, including 25 levels of A-grade commercial premises anticipated to house some 1,500 personnel.

Other retail and recreational operations within the Queen’s Rise building include a New World supermarket, a corporate fitness studio and a separate childcare facility

The dining precinct on the first level is gradually being tenanted by a mix of independent hospitality specialists targeting the food service requirements of the surrounding corporate clientele.

“This dining precinct is anticipated to be an extension of the offices above – a relaxed place to welcome visitors and a convenient breakout area for meetings over a cup of coffee. A ground floor cafe/bar will be located within the stylish and high-end lobby lounge,” said La Hood.

Graham said the availability of two large retail sites within Queen’s Rise add to a frenetic period of retail leasing activity on Queen St.

Recent brand tenancies to have signed up on the strip include: coffee-maker Nespresso moving into premises on the corner of Queen St and Customs St; Menswear purveyor Hugo Boss signing up the space vacated by Michael Hill Jeweller at 44 Queen St while in a domino effect Michael Hill relocates to a shop on the corner of Vulcan Lane and Queen St; beauty products purveyor Elizabeth Arden finding a new home at 62 Queen St next to the Quest on Queen Hotel; clothing and fashion accessory label Global Culture establishing a presence at 94 Queen St, directly opposite Queen’s Rise; and Life Pharmacy taking over the lease of the former Rip Curl outlet at 101 Queen St.

Queen St underwent a $40 million upgrade in 2007, with footpaths widened and laid in basalt stone along with the installation of new pedestrian crossings and seating improvements. The upgrade resulted in a 25 per cent increase in weekday pedestrian foot counts.

Phase two of the council’s CBD improvement program is currently under way, with $130 million set aside for new and streetscape landscaping  designed to underpin the performance of shops and businesses along the Queen St corridor over the coming 10 years.

“The council plan has identified that Queen St has an important role through housing the most significant concentration of retail activity outside of suburban shopping malls,” Graham said.

Graham envisaged that major brands will be enticed into leasing Queen’s Rise ground floor space including sportswear apparel labels and other lifestyle brands.

“CBD retail is supported by the surrounding corporate population during the week along with both international and domestic visitors staying in the central city’s hotels over the seven day cycle,” she said.

“That CBD customer demographic seeks a different shopping experience to a suburban mall. The customer spend is more discretionary than necessity based. Queen’s Rise by its very nature delivers that premium shopping perception.”

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