Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited (Precinct) announced today that major international fashion retailer H&M will open its New Zealand flagship store at Commercial Bay on Auckland’s waterfront. This comes at a key milestone in the project with the closure of the existing Downtown Shopping Centre and construction works commencing on June 13th. HSBC also confirmed their commitment to Commercial Bay, relocating to 188 Quay Street and taking naming rights over the building.

­­

Scott Pritchard, Precinct’s CEO, said that the signing of H&M and HSBC confirm Commercial Bay’s attraction as both a retail and commercial precinct. “H&M and HSBC are both internationally recognised brands and we’re delighted with their early commitment to Commercial Bay”.

These announcements are particularly timely for Precinct he added. “Commercial Bay has been years of planning for our business and to see physical works commencing is extremely exciting”.

H&M to open flagship store at Commercial Bay

Scott Pritchard, Precinct’s CEO, said that the company was very excited that H&M have chosen Commercial Bay as the site for their flagship store. H&M is one of the fastest growing international fashion retailers and the choice of Commercial Bay highlights the resurgence of Queen Street as the heart of Auckland retailing.

“The flagship store will continue the regeneration of the lower Queen Street and Britomart precincts and puts Commercial Bay firmly on the fashion map of Auckland”, he said.

H&M’s early commitment to Commercial Bay two years' ahead of opening is indicative of the strong interest being received from retailers. The Commercial Bay retail precinct is expected to open by October 2018.

Auckland’s CBD continues its retail renaissance led by a unique blend of international and local retailers, improvement in dining and entertainment precincts and strong growth in tourist numbers. This is further supported by continued growth in CBD based employment, major investment in hotel and commercial construction and in public transport initiatives including the City Rail Link. CBD retail vacancy rates continue to fall. Colliers latest vacancy survey effective 31 December 2015 shows that the overall Auckland CBD retail vacancy rate has decreased to 2.5% (Dec 2014: 3.0%).

HSBC Signs at 188 Quay Street, Commercial Bay

Precinct Properties (NZX:PCT) today welcomed the decision by HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations, to relocate its New Zealand head office at 188 Quay Street.

“We are very pleased to see a company of HSBC’s stature choose to remain in the Precinct portfolio in the Commercial Bay precinct on Auckland’s waterfront”. Scott Pritchard, Precinct’s CEO said.

HSBC will relocate from its current Queen Street address, also owned by Precinct, to the current PwC Tower at the end of its current lease in 2019, taking multiple levels on a ten-year lease in what will be known as HSBC Tower.

About Commercial Bay

Demolition of the existing Downtown Shopping Centre will begin in June to make way for Commercial Bay a $681 million development on Auckland’s CBD waterfront that includes a new 39 level commercial office tower to be known as the PwC Tower, as well as a world class retail centre.

The Commercial Bay retail centre is expected to open by October 2018, with the PwC Tower completed in mid-2019.

“We are very excited about this development. We believe Commercial Bay is the most transformational project Auckland’s CBD has ever seen.” Scott Pritchard, Chief Executive Officer of Precinct, said. “It completely reshapes the waterfront area bounded by Britomart, the Viaduct and the CBD. The retail at Commercial Bay will be a laneway environment with around 100 retailers including international and domestic fashion outlets plus a number of restaurants, cafes and bars making the most of the unique waterfront location. The office tower will transform the city skyline, but most importantly has been designed from the inside out to create a world-class working environment for its occupiers.”