As part of our Faces of the City series, we chatted to Scott Pritchard, CEO of Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited about the exciting new addition to the city centre, Commercial Bay that opened on Thursday 11 June. We asked him what makes Commercial Bay unique to other shopping and dining destinations, as well as what we should look out for when visiting. 

What is unique about Commercial Bay and what makes it different to the other shopping and dining destinations in Auckland?

Where do I start. I genuinely believe Commercial Bay is one of the most transformational projects in Auckland’s history.

It creates a world-class centre for food, fashion and lifestyle culture. It is a vibrant retail environment that acts as an extension of the city – it links transport infrastructure with newly formed civic space and extends the City Centre laneway network.

We wanted to create the opposite of a traditional mall environment, which I think we have successfully achieved. The east west Wheriko Laneway, is open 24/7 and the overall design is made up of 8 different buildings.

 

There are so many exciting brands opening their doors – what stores will you not be able to find anywhere else in Auckland?

From an international perspective Scotch and Soda, Dior Cosmetics, Tommy Hilfilger, Calvin Klein Boutique, Wittner, Herschel and Furla will all be opening their first stores.

We’ve also got some great NZ brands that are opening their first store – this includes Aotea, Just Another Fisherman, Yu Mei, Ecoya, Asuwere, Solect, and Edmund Hillary.

And with over 30 eateries, what should we be lining up for on our next lunch break or at our next after work catch up?

The Harbour Eats food hall on Level 2 has pretty much got something for everyone – from dumpling and burgers, to hot dogs and sushi.

In addition to the 28 eateries in Harbour Eats there are also a range of grab and go options throughout Commercial Bay.

On the Quay and Albert Street corner the Rodd & Gunn Lodge Bar concept is looking incredible, next to that you can grab a pint and bar food at Reign and Pour, on Level One is Poni Room, an Asian inspired eatery focusing on seafood and rose.

Our flagship restaurants Saxon + Parole out of NY and Ben Bayly’s restaurant, Ahi, will open in a few months’ time.

We wanted to create the opposite of a traditional mall environment, which I think we have successfully achieved. The east west laneway, Wheriko Laneway, is open 24/7 and the overall design is made up of 8 different buildings.

We hear that there are a number of laneways, artworks and open air public spaces throughout the development. Tell us a bit about what we should look out for?

A key part of the Commercial Bay development, since its inception, has been to provide for the manifestation of Commercial Bay Te Aranga Māori Design Values and Principles and iwi were closely involved throughout the design and construction process.

Many art pieces featured at Commercial Bay have a strong connection to mana whenua and really focus on telling the stories of both our ancestors and Tāmaki Makaurau.

In addition to the Wheriko Lane which runs east west through the space is Little Queen Street that runs north to south. This is a nod to the Little Queen Street that was in a similar location until the mid 70s. This laneway features a number of amazing NZ brands and designers.

And of course the big question, what can we expect on opening day, and the weeks following?

We’ve got a range of events, activations and promotions over the first few weeks. There will be live music in Harbour Eats every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There is a lot going on – I’d encourage people to download the Commercial Bay app for full event details.

For all the details about opening day click here.

Last updated: 11 June 2020

Next