Coastlands plans for the future - Growth on the Kapiti Coast
Richard Mansell is enthusiastic about the future of the Kapiti Coast and has some ambitious plans for his family owned Coastlands Shoppingtown and nearby land in Paraparaumu.
The mall, opened in 1969, is one of the country’s largest independently owned shopping centres and has also long been one of the Wellington region’s best performing retail and leisure complexes. It has a mix of over 120 international, national and local tenants and has had little vacancy in recent years.
Coastlands is looking to build on this solid base and take a lead role in the growth that should come from the $2.4 billion Northern Corridor roading project predicted to slash 40 minutes off the car journey between Levin and Wellington.
The massive infrastructure project has already provided a significant boost for the region’s economy with nearly 600 people employed in the construction of the Kapiti Expressway and over half of the contractors’ spending has been with local businesses.
However, it is the longer term prospects for the Kapiti Coast once the 60 kilometres of new motorway connections to central Wellington – encompassing the Kapiti Expressway and Transmission Gully – are completed in 2020 that has Richard Mansell particularly excited.
“It will significantly reduce travelling times and the frustrating congestion that many Kapiti coasters who have jobs in Wellington currently face getting to work. As the ability to get in and out of the Capital improves, the number of people wanting to live here will grow – attracted by the obvious lifestyle benefits that the coast provides,” he says.
“There is already anecdotal evidence of this occurring with a quicker turnover of houses for sale and prices increasing. There also appears to be an increasing shortage of rental properties with more landlords looking to take advantage of a strongly performing residential market to sell.
“A growing population will bring more businesses to the Kapiti Coast to service that growth which in turns creates more local jobs. The long-term goal is to reduce the number of people – currently around one third of the working population – having to go outside of the area to earn a living.”
Mr Mansell says Coastlands is already acting on the new and exciting opportunities which the improved motorway connections will open up for Paraparaumu with work nearing completion on the first of several planned expansions. An 800m2 two-storey building, containing ground floor retail and an office level above, is being built on Rimu Road opposite the Kapiti Coast District Council building.
The new building, to be known as Takiri House, is scheduled to open for business in April, with two thirds of the ground floor leased to Spark and a computer services business. The balance of the space would suit a cafe or some other type of food and/or beverage business.
Coastlands also has resource consent to build a similar sized building alongside Takiri House, separated from it by a plaza. "If we have sufficient demand, we'll start building that as well," Mr Mansell says. "If someone comes along when the first one is full, and wants to take half of it, we'd start straight away. “The project works in with the Kapiti District Council's plan to develop Rimu Road as a main street, featuring more shops and businesses, and linking Coastlands to the civic precinct.”
Coastlands also owns a further 4.2 hectares of land on Rimu Road, across the road from the mall car park. Mr Mansell has some particularly big plans for this site and while it will be a long-term project, discussions are already well advanced with two bulk retailers to provide anchor tenancies.
“Once you have them in place then smaller complementary tenancies will come. The land has a very flexible zoning which allows for wide range of commercial uses as well as some residential accommodation,” says Mr Mansell.
“There is a growing global trend towards including high density residential accommodation within and around shopping centres. Both Pakuranga Plaza and the Milford shopping centre in Auckland plan to incorporate apartments into the future development of their centres.
"At the heart of the Coastlands developments is the objective of creating a place in the community where people can work, connect, shop, play and possibly live while enjoying pleasant surroundings.”
Retail strategist and commentator Chris Wilkinson says Coastlands’ development plans will have a positive effect on Kapiti. "The new motorway will broaden current demographics and provide a fresh appetite for investment. Coastlands is doing the right thing by preparing its future strategies towards enhancing its retail, shopping and dining mix."
Coastlands' expansion comes as some suburban malls in the Wellington region are struggling with a drop in foot traffic and tenants leaving. In recent years the company has also made considerable improvements to the existing centre. It has expanded its food court by 400m2 with four new outlets and 120 extra seats for diners overlooking the Wharemauku Stream, which runs beneath the mall.
Development at the Ihakara Street end of the Coastlands site has added a Rebel Sports store and a new, relocated Briscoes store. There has also been modernisation and enhancements of The Warehouse which anchors the mall along with Countdown and Pak’n’Save supermarkets, Farmers and a four-screen Events cinema complex. The only significant space that has become available recently has been as a result of two multinational tenants going out of business. A shop formerly occupied by Dick Smith Electronics offers a new tenant 445m2 of high profile space which Coastlands will refurbish to suit their requirements while a smaller 99m2 tenancy has also been vacated by Pumpkin Patch.
Coastlands Opportunities445m² of well positioned and presented retail space between two banks and opposite pedestrian crossing and commuter transport hub.
Various retail, food and beverage and office options in two new buildings on Rimu Road, Paraparaumu.