NZ 100-store premium outlet shopping centre named and design details revealed

28 July 2022

Development of a $200million-plus premium outlet shopping destination has reached another construction milestone, as Auckland Airport unveils detailed plans for the 100-store retail centre.   

In March Auckland Airport announced it had started to develop a 150,000m2 site in preparation for a new premium outlet shopping centre, offering sought-after premium fashion, athleisure, lifestyle and homeware brands as well as contemporary food and dining options. Earthworks to prepare the building platform are now complete, with the next phase of construction activity for the shopping centre planned to begin in spring.

“This will be New Zealand’s first ever premium purpose-built outlet centre, focused on the best international and local brands and to offer an unrivalled shopping experience to customers,” said Mark Thomson, Auckland Airport’s General Manager Property and Commercial.

“We know from overseas airport fashion outlet centres that these are a proven and resilient retail model and a go-to destination for shoppers. We can’t wait to open the doors in 2024.”

The outlet centre has been named Mānawa Bay, reflecting the airport’s unique location on the Māngere Peninsula and the historical and cultural significance of this area to tangata whenua. In te reo Māori, Mānawa means mangroves – a coastal plant species that have long featured in the waterways surrounding the land Auckland Airport sits on. Auckland Airport has worked closely with local iwi on the project.

Mr Thomson said architects are underway carrying out detailed design work for the interior of the building, with three entry points and a “figure-of-eight” layout for easy movement and customer navigation. Once complete, the building will provide 24,000m2 of retail space and stores ranging in size from 50m2 to 1500m2.

“Our vision is that when the centre opens we will provide Kiwis with a really enjoyable and unique outlet shopping experience that will set a new benchmark in New Zealand. We’ve been delighted by the positive market response we’ve had with strong interest from both local and international brands.”

Auckland Airport partnered on the design with TRCB Architects – the company that led the design of the DFO Perth outlet centre at Perth Airport.

TRCB principal, architect Graham Taylor said outlet shopping centres have experienced a revival around the world, capturing the attention of customers wanting “authentic, convenient shopping experiences with a multitude of choice”.

“Premium outlet centres are growing as a distinct and popular retail category, particularly at airport locations. They’re no longer a place just to buy seconds or last season’s fashion goods at discount prices – they’ve evolved to a much more upmarket and immersive shopping experience.

“A number of international brands now have distinct strategies around outlet locations, recognising they have a broad and captive market to deliver new, contemporary fashion goods and accessories.”

Mr Taylor said the outlet centre’s park-like setting would make it “one of the leading outlet centres in Australasia”, with a food-and-beverage area located at the heart of the centre offering indoor / outdoor seating with large windows maximising water views and bringing in natural light and northern sun. Inside, the outlet centre will be purposefully pared-back, with polished concrete floors and an overall industrial finish, apart from customer amenities which introduce warm colour, natural tones and comfortable, tactile textures.

“Recognising authenticity and being comfortable in a setting have become really important to customers – and this is reflected in the design, with a contemporary interior design that has no pretence to it. We’re wanting to create a space that every customer feels comfortable in, whether they’re shopping for a new t-shirt or for high-end fashion accessories.  

“For the exterior, we’ve been inspired by the ideas of flight and air, reflecting the centre’s links to the airport, so we’ve played with concepts of lightness and movement, expressed graphically within the form and shape – as opposed to creating a traditional, rectangular-shaped warehouse,” Mr Taylor said.

Mānawa Bay will be built with a strong emphasis on sustainable design principles and robust, long-lasting materials with minimal energy requirements. Auckland Airport is targeting 5-Star Green design and build with the development.

Built on the former Aviation Golf Course, Mānawa Bay will be easily accessible and accommodate many forms of transport including public transport. Over the past two years, Auckland Airport has carried out a major upgrade of its core roading network while traveller numbers are lower, investing more than $160 million in roads around the precinct to prioritise public transport and enable smooth journeys for people heading to and from the terminals.

Mānawa Bay – New Zealand’s first premium purpose-built fashion outlet centre
Planned to open 2024
Situated in a prime location on the north-eastern side of the airport precinct
100+ tenancies
500-plus new jobs created
1400 car parks
Easily accessible location: four minutes from Auckland Airport terminals, a 25-minute drive from Auckland CBD and close to motorways and main arterial routes
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