Auckland’s most exciting new retail and hospitality precinct, Commercial Bay, officially opened its doors to the public on Thursday 11 June. Owner Precinct Properties’ CEO Scott Pritchard; Rt Hon, Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand; Rt Hon, Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland; Hon Phil Twyford; and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei unveiled the much anticipated $1 billion development in the heart of the city.
Precinct Properties Chief Executive, Scott Pritchard, says Commercial Bay’s opening is a momentous occasion for both Precinct Properties and New Zealand.
“We are immensely proud to open Commercial Bay, an outstanding retail precinct that will redefine Auckland’s centre city and play an integral role in its ongoing revitalisation,” says Pritchard.
“We set out with a clear vision to create a world-class waterfront destination on par with other gateway cities and we are proud to have achieved this, thanks to the commitment of our team and project partners.”
Commercial Bay offers more than 120 retailers across fashion, food and beverage, beauty and speciality retail, bringing together the largest concentration of high-quality local and international retailers to the heart of Auckland city.
Pritchard says that it is a poignant time for Commercial Bay to be opening, as New Zealand kickstarts its economy after moving to Level One this week.
“Despite the extraordinary circumstances we are opening under, I am extremely delighted to welcome Aucklanders and visitors to a new and exciting part of the city where they can shop, eat, drink and experience all Commercial Bay has to offer.”
Shoppers will be spoiled for choice with a carefully curated mix of leading international and local fashion and retail stores, including first-to-market names for New Zealand fashion.
Commercial Bay is also the newest destination for foodies with Harbour Eats, an innovative New York-style food hall with vendors inspired by international gastronomic precincts.
“We are incredibly proud to support our local businesses as well as first-to-market retailers as they open after a challenging few months. During this crucial time, as New Zealand moves to restart its economy after lockdown, I encourage people to support these retailers and food operators.”
The vibrant open air laneway-based retail environment, designed by Warren and Mahoney in association with NH Architecture and built by Fletcher Construction, has been created as an extension of the city and pays homage to its rich history; combining modern, airy architectural spaces with elements of the city’s historic design.
Since the 1800s, the southern shore of the Waitematā Harbour has been an important place of transport, trade and commerce, an area once called Commercial Bay.
Precinct Properties worked closely with mana whenua groups Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua, and Ngāti Pāoa, who were integral in the naming and design of Commercial Bay’s laneways and artworks.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei gifted Commercial Bay’s Civic Steps – the precinct’s primary entrance and a key gathering and meeting space – with its name of Te Reo Pōwhiri, which reflects the importance of the traditional process of tikanga Māori, and links to the open and hospitable nature of Māori and New Zealand culture.
Mana whenua were also responsible for naming the entry thresholds that are reflective of the four moana of Auckland: the Northern entry on Quay Street – Waitematā; Eastern entry on Queen Street – Tīkapa; Southern entry on Customs Street – Manukau / Te Manukanuka a Hoturoa; and Western entry on Lower Albert Street – Kaipara. The east-west laneway, a 24/7 laneway that connects Queen and Lower Albert Streets, was gifted the name Wheriko by Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua, meaning ‘sparkling waters’ and representing the coming together of the four moana.
“It has been crucial for us to understand and honour the past, working with iwi and our designers, Warren and Mahoney, to reinstate Commercial Bay as the centre of activity, trade and commerce in the city,” says Pritchard.
The transformational mixed-use precinct will also be home to an estimated 10,000 workers once the striking new PwC Tower is completed next month. The future redevelopment of One Queen Street will make Commercial Bay the largest office and retail precinct in the city centre.
Commercial Bay is open now, with retailers open between 9am and 6pm, and Harbour Eats open from 7am until 10pm. Select restaurants and bars will be open until midnight.
Commercial Bay Retail directory:
Ground floor: Aje, Asuwere, Best Ugly Bagels, Bluebells, Cali Press, Calvin Klein (opening soon), Citta, COS, Dior Cosmetics, Ecoya, Elle + Riley, Flo & Frankie, Furla, H&M, Hugo Boss, Husk, Honest Chocolat, Ingrid Starnes, Kate Spade, Kookai, L’Occitane, Lorna Jane, lululemon, Maje, MECCA, Meri, Nicole Rebstock, NRSH, Oji Sushi, Papinelle, Reign & Pour, Rodd & Gunn, Sandro, Scarpa, Scotch & Soda, Spark (opening soon), Storm, Superette, Tommy Hilfiger, twenty-seven names, Yu Mei, Veronika Maine, Wittner.
Level one: 3 Wise Men, Asics, Barkers, BNZ (opening soon), Bowl & Arrow, COS, Creative & Brave, Edmund Hillary, Federation, General Pants Co, Gentry Barbers, Herschel Supply Co, Hugo Boss, Icebreaker, Just Another Fisherman, Kokako, Lentes & Marcos, Lieutenant Coffee Bar & Eatery, Life Pharmacy, The Poni Room, Ripcurl, R.M Williams, Solect, Whitcoulls.
Level two: Ahi by Ben Bayly (opening August), Aroy Thai, Art of Nails, Ben & Jerry’s, Billypot, Bird on a Wire, Blush, Burger Burger, City Dental Lounge, Daruma Ramen, Eat Indian, Fatimas, Hitea, Ghost Donkey, GoChu, Gogi, Good Dog Bad Dog, Gusstop Café, Harker Herbals, Hawker & Roll, I Love Ugly, Juke Joint, Kai Eatery, Liquorette, Loxy’s Hair Boutique, Nam Nam, Needo, Oji Sushi, Paella Pod, Public, Sam Choy’s Poke To The Max, Saxon + Parole (opening August), Shampoo ‘n Things, Skin Institute, Skintopia, South American Oven, Sunnytown, Tank, Wise Boys, Zeta.