Queen’s Lane

On October 8, 2011 by Eye on Auckland

The transformation of 396 Queen Street.

Auckland is fast becoming a city of Markets and Lane-ways which is set to rival the likes of Melbourne. I must add that it won’t be within the next 3 years but looking at projects planned for our city it is easy to see that Auckland will be vastly different in the next 5 to 10 years time. Wynyard Quarter will have an additional 5 Lane-ways by 2013, Fort Lane is almost ready to be revealed, Imperial Lane is set to open by the end of the year and now 396 Queen Street will join them.

396 Queen is being redeveloped to create 42 new luxury ground floor shops embracing Queen Street and Mayoral Drive. The development will be known as Queens Lane and will be a vibrant addition to Queen Street. Queens Lane has only eight shops with prime Queen Street frontage. Each shop has been carefully designed to provide maximum shop front width, major signage exposure and total flexibility of business use and opening hours.

The Lane at Queens Lane will be a boutique retail environment. With twenty shops offering a variety of food, fashion and goods, the Lane will be a luxurious magnet to the thousands of customers who pass each day. With a temperature controlled environment away from Auckland’s inclement weather, Queens Lane will bring relaxed retailing to Queen Street.

The Mayoral Drive Shops at Queens Lane provide massive exposure to traffic and pedestrians alike. Inspired use of signage and wide shop frontages are the hallmarks of the Mayoral Drive shops. It is sad to see the facade of the Queen’s Head Hotel being removed but we must admit that it is an improvement and this project adds a touch of class to Upper Queen Street.

13 Responses to “Queen’s Lane”

  • James B

    Thank god they are getting rid of the Queen’s Head facade. It was like a ghost building, reminding us all of our failure to protect heritage in the 80s and 90s.

    It would be quite good to remove it and use it to front a building of a smaller scale somewhere.

    • The Eye

      I couldn’t agree more, it is one of the worst cases of façadism in the city.

      • James B

        “it is one of the worst cases of façadism in the city.”
        I disagree. It is one of the worst cases of facadism in the world! Pull the front of the building off and stick it back on again. There we protected heritage. :-(

    • Suffrage

      I couldn’t agree more, I am glad to see that go and I love the new look. Very stylish indeed.

  • Cam

    This looks good. Any word on when they aim to have it built by? Also what’s Empire Lane? I have not heard of this project.

  • little_miss_muffet

    A huge improvement, as much as I like the little sliver of heritage it did look odd there, maybe they should disassemble it and rebuild it in some park.

  • AbelTasman

    A definite improvement, that part of town is just getting better and better. Bring it on.

  • Mr Samsa

    Will be interesting to see if it sells. The 8 shops on Queens St should be fine, but the 20 in the T shaped dead end behind would be risky.

    I do like unit 29 on…


    ..the shop staff would have to stand behind the door so the single customer can open it and squeeze in. A shop with no room for stock – very cool.

  • Henry

    I really doubt it will look like the renders. Picture it again with loud colours and different sized signage above each shop. With that (which is normal in Auckland) it will look as tacky as anything. I really hope (but don’t expect) that the developers require a single colour, size and font for signage.

    p.s. earlier posters – re-use the facade? You have to be kidding; while it would be fantastic, it is of course virtually impossible and commercially less likely than that – it simply just isn’t going to happen. Despite being completely out of place, removing it will nevertheless contribute to the “soul-lessness” of Auckland in my opinion.

  • Max

    How is this a lane? Does it link anywhere?

    The back shops will be useless if it doesn’t.

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