Greenstone Group was appointed as project and leasing manager for this significant $160 million transformation. Te Awa Mall, situated within the existing and successful Base Shopping Centre, was conceived in order to provide visitors with a full specialty retail experience. Greenstone Group were vital in ensuring the design and implementation of this development simultaneously acknowledged the area’s heritage, provided a superior retail experience for current visitors and allowed for seamless future developments to the space.
Just as the history of the area is rich and varied, so too are the inhabitants of Te Awa Mall at The Base. The anchor tenant is a Farmers department store, supported by a wide range of fashion and service retailers, as well as a bustling food court. The impressive site is also home to 560 underground carparks, giving ease of access to its customers. Not only did the mall set the standard for range of retail experiences, it also set a new design benchmark for retail centres New Zealand wide.
Design consideration focused on future proofing and allowing for even further development. The design did this by allowing for a potential second level to be added. Significant design and construction management focus ensured that future expansion is both practicable and could occur with minimum disruption to existing mall tenants. This forms part of a longer-term development plan, which will eventually comprise a town centre (which will be home to a health centre, offices and other community facilities) alongside the new mall and existing large-format stores.
To further make design decisions that benefit the future, best practice environmental design concepts were used. This was reflected in the choice of materials and design of the mall, such as the ethylene tetrafluoroethylene roof. This clear plastic polymer is not heavy, transmits more light than glass and is both self-cleaning and recyclable. High windows were installed for the comfort of visitors. These windows open automatically and assist in the natural ventilation of the centre.
Not only was future proofing and design for the future a major focus of the journey, so too was consideration of heritage and culture. Greenstone Group expertly and sensitively managed an extensive consultation process to ensure the development’s design appropriately acknowledged the cultural values of Waikato-Tainui and key stakeholders in the project. As a result, many design details in the mall reference the history and culture of the central North Island, including the Waikato River, the Waikato-Tainui waka and the site’s previous use as an air force base. Greenstone Group undoubtedly added value and points of difference with these significant design elements.
Greenstone Group’s expertise also came to the fore in the financial side of the development. Greenstone Group negotiated a Preliminary & General and Margin contract with the preferred contractor. This allowed the client to take advantage of very competitive market conditions and produced well-priced subcontractor tenders.
Just as the tenants of this major retail space are varied, so too is the skillset of Greenstone Group that allowed them to add significant value to this project. Greenstone’s expertise and experience certainly enhanced the outcome of this development through both their human resource expertise and their technical knowledge. They expertly managed an extensive consultation process with key stakeholders, local iwi and the wider community and ensured the results of this process were effectively translated into the design of the mall. This tangible outcome can be seen every time customers visit the mall. Greenstone Group’s deft management of the leasing process and negotiation of the commercial terms of the construction contract certainly contributed to the success of the development, which is enjoyed by myriad people every day.