Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and Kiwi Property have announced the formation of a 50:50 joint venture over Centre Place North in central Hamilton, paving the way to create refreshed retail experiences and a proposed office development.
The agreement is set to bring certainty and new energy to the revitalisation of Centre Place North, including exploring ways to reactivate one of the country’s first underground train stations, which sits mothballed beneath the centre.
Linda Te Aho, chair of Te Arataura, the executive committee of Waikato-Tainui, said the iwi is pleased to play a key role in the rejuvenation of the Kirikiriroa-Hamilton CBD.
“It’s pleasing to have reached a shared vision for how Centre Place North can contribute to a vibrant, modern and safe inner city. This is important whenua for us and it’s great to have the opportunity to shape the above ground presence for this property for generations to come,” she said.
The Centre Place North joint venture extends the partnership between TGH and Kiwi Property which dates back to May 2016, when Kiwi Property acquired a 50 percent share of The Base.
TGH CEO Chris Joblin said they are excited by the potential. “Building on our experience of working together as co-owners of The Base, we want to bring a 100-year view and some visionary thinking to create something vibrant and special to accelerate the ongoing transformation of the CBD.”
Kiwi Property CEO Clive Mackenzie said they are delighted to be working with TGH to create a mixed-use destination. “With its pivotal location in the Hamilton CBD, Centre Place North has the potential to bring together an attractive retail, office and perhaps even residential offering.”
The new joint venture for Centre Place will take an initial pre-paid 100-year ground lease, with the underlying whenua remaining in the ownership of Waikato-Tainui, including the land transferred to iwi ownership from beneath the existing carpark which was owned by Kiwi Property.
Waikato-Tainui has appointed fund management expert Rebecca Thomas as an independent director of Tainui Group Holdings (TGH), the commercial investment arm of the iwi. Thomas will replace Sir Henry van der Heyden as a sitting independent board member who is due to retire by rotation in April after serving on the Board for nine years.