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News Release


Willis Street Arcade to receive a Grand makeover

JLL property team to develop and lease the Grand Arcade



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Grand Arcade - Press Release small-min.jpgWell known Wellington destination the Grand Arcade is to receive a major refurbishment creating a unique blend of fashion retailers, food and beverage, fitness, and a new childcare facility for the CBD. 

Located in the heart of Willis Street in what is known as Wellington’s Golden Mile, the Grand Arcade has been a stalwart on Willis Street for decades, with regular visitors to its retail areas and food outlets. JLL has managed the property for more than 20 years and saw an opportunity for the site to be developed. 

JLL Senior Property Manager Jared Nicholson says, “Now is the opportune time to revitalise the asset and optimise the tenancies both from a best use and tenant mix perspective. The property is exceptionally well located but is not realising its potential. This, accompanied by the increase in national and international tenant interest, means the timing is right to kick start this project.” 

Due to the size of the project, a large JLL team has been involved including, Property and Asset Management, Project and Development Services, Leasing, and Valuation. Integral to the initial stages are the Project and Development Services team, who are also responsible for the delivery of the project over a two-year period. 

National Director of Project and Development Services, Ben Dalton says, “The refurbishment of the existing building will include creating a new façade and entrance on Willis Street, reconfiguring the existing tenancies, and relocating the escalators to improve the flow and natural light through the building. Additionally, there is an undeveloped area at the rear of the property, which will be transformed into a new childcare facility of approximately 1,000sqm, with access provided from both Willis Street and Boulcott Street,” says Dalton.

The JLL agency team identified that in Willis Street there is strong demand for fashion, other retailers and food and beverage outlets. The new development will retain anchor tenant City Fitness.

The property will be marketed for lease by JLL agents Jon Williams and Freddie Holmes. Says Williams, “The dynamics of the retail market has changed dramatically over the past decade. There is now great emphasis on enhancing customer experience, efficiency and convenience. We have worked closely with one of Wellington’s top architects Designgroup Stapleton Elliott, to ensure all aspects of the retail experience are developed to suit both the modern retailer and customer needs. 

Wellington’s retail offer has progressed enormously over the past 18 months, with the likes of David Jones and Aesop now rumoured to have found space. However, there is still a shortfall in quality available stock and we believe the redevelopment will be a great opportunity for both local and national retailers but also attract the new internationals the market is desperate for.​

“We are extremely excited to have such a fantastic opportunity coming to the Wellington market. Recent research conducted by JLL, confirms that the lack of stock in Wellington is impacting on choice for tenants, with some international retailers delaying their entrance into the market as they wait for more floor space to become available.

“A highly successful result would be to see the new look Arcade fully tenanted, to include some big retailers and more business heading to the Willis Street end of town as a result. Given the growing popularity of Wellington as a shopping destination and the number of businesses located in the region, we expect the refurbished property will attract interested retailers at an early stage.” 

Dalton says, “Resource Consent has been granted with design currently underway, completion of the Grand Arcade refurbishment is forecast to be early 2019.”