On March 27, 2012 by Eye on Auckland


An icon is reborn.

Sophistication and upmarket dining is set to return to Takapuna. First it was The Department Store (voted best retail store in the World) and now The Mckenzie’s project is nearing completion. The high-end development aims to recapture the spirit of the 1940s McKenzies department store that once stood on the site and lured shoppers to Takapuna’s main street – Hurstmere Road. Construction began late last year and fit-out work of the restaurants, bars and shops is due to begin soon with opening planned for May. Pack & Company is known for its bars and restaurants in the swish IMPERIAL LANE development in Auckland city and will take up five tenancies – half of the development. This covers all hospitality including an upmarket restaurant, bar/bistro, Danish patisserie and whisky/wine bar. Details of the operators are being kept under wraps and tenants for the high-end fashion stores are still to be confirmed.

View of the original McKenzies Department Store from Hurstmere Road.

Internal Courtyard with beach access.

The development helps right the wrong by opening Takapuna up to face the beach with a paved lane linking Hurstmere Rd to The Strand (long overdue and shocking to think that most commercial properties turn their back onto the beach – what were our forefathers thinking !). Striking tulip parasols, a living wall of plants and artwork will be key features of the internal courtyard that faces high-end fashion shops. The courtyard doubles as a function space and last week BMW was already using it to launch its latest luxury car. Features of the original McKenzies and neighbouring Lane’s Bakery buildings have been retained including brickwork, wooden beams and steel framework.

The Facts:

  • The McKenzies Project will involve the incorporation of 7adjoining buildings to form 3 separate zones, surrounding a new pedestrian lane and internal courtyard.
  • With prominent retail frontages and a gateway from Hurstmere Road, McKenzies extends towards the beach with a 6 metre wide pedestrian lane and an open courtyard at its heart.
  • Surrounded by a sophisticated array of dining, fashion and lifestyle retail tenancies, the development will offer the best of modern shopping and entertainment, with character buildings and striking architectural features.
  • The historic brick walls, steel portal frames, concrete parapets and rich red tiles of the Hurstmere facade will be combined with new Spanish tiles, shiplap weatherboards, exposed timber rooflines, modern steel and glass shop fronts, and enhanced design elements.
  • The open air internal courtyard will be invigorated by dining and entertainment choices, providing a unique outdoor experience, morning through until evening.
  • Design features include large retractable Tulip parasols, a living wall, landscaped elements and artwork softening the industrial design – providing a sophisticated outdoor dining experience enhanced by natural, ambient lighting.
  • A standalone two-storey restaurant centres the courtyard and can be accessed directly from within the courtyard or the seaward facing promenade to the east.
  • Whilst the courtyard’s primary purpose is to support McKenzies food and beverage offerings, its design also allows it to be used for evening events, fashion shows, product launches and industry gatherings – to be controlled by the management company. Character wrought iron bi-folding gates will secure the entrance through McKenzies from Hurstmere Road and The Promenade outside trading hours.

Bringing life and style back to Takapuna.

6 Responses to “McKenzies”

  • sister ray

    Looks wonderful. Hurstmere Rd. definitely needs this project.

  • Fantastic to see this under way while walking past. I live fairly close to takapuna and have been keenly trying to peek through the barriers over the last year since it began.
    Cant wait for it to open, i think it will be a great showcase for how sucessful design attracts good tennants and many customers.
    Thanks for the post

  • Bazza-in-Blightly

    A great development but there is one thing missing – several levels of floor space ABOVE these retail outlets for apartments, which are, after all, what Takapuna needs to give it that added vibrancy – i.e. the opportunity for more people to live in the town centre, European style. Given Auckland’s long term plans for densification I find it surprising that this has not been taken into account. Same can also be said of the plans elsewhere on your excellent site of the proposed Ormiston town centre development.

  • chrissy cross

    would love to work there. If any please inform me via email. thank you. Its nice see a icon of takapuna return.

  • Cynthia Thomas

    In the late 1950′s and early 1960′s there was a marvellous salesman who occupied the front of the store of McKenzies in Queen Street Auckland City.
    He was called Mighty Max. He was dapper, balding and wore a black waistcoat and white shirt. He spoke with a very genteel, English accent. It was Mighty Max who showed the Fruit Salad plant I had never seen before. He was wonderful.
    It would be so appropriate if a courtyard or sales area in your new development could be named after him.
    C6ynthia Thomas

  • Walked through the courtyard today and it is a great project. Yes it would have been nice to have appartments on top, but a huge number are proposed for just up the road. I think the area will be better with mixed level development.

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