West Auckland Trust plans $40m investment with 10 new hospitality venues –

A $40 million plus investment over the next five years to expand the hospitality and retail infrastructure of one of NZ’s largest population centers is set to help address future demand from increased housing density and regeneration around transport hubs.

West Auckland has a population of 311,000+ spread over a 578 km2 area and is expected to grow by tens of thousands of residents over the coming years.

The Trusts, which has a community mandate to operate liquor licenses in the region, is aiming to grow annual revenues by 23% to $160 million within five years.

According to a new five-year strategic plan released today, as part of the largest capital expenditure in The Trusts’ 50-year history, the organization aims to open up to ten new hospitality venues and retail stores during the period.

The multimillion-dollar investment is also believed to be one of the largest for the sector in recent years and is seen as a sign of returning confidence in the industry – following the impact of the pandemic.

The planned venues will range in size from 50 to 500m2 and are expected to introduce innovative new restaurant and bar concepts and provide additional sites to match the projected population growth in suburbs throughout the region.

Allan Pollard, CEO of The Trusts, says West Auckland has seen significant population growth in recent years and a new contemporary hospitality model will be launched as a result of feedback from the local community.

He says one in every seven new residents moving to the area is either new to New Zealand or new to Auckland.

“Within the next three decades, the North Western suburbs of Auckland are expected to see an additional 100,000 people move to the area, equivalent to the population of Dunedin, and there is an urgent need to initiate a significant development program to introduce hospitality and retail infrastructure that is targeted to the evolving demographics of the area.

“What we know about the arrival of new residents to the region is that they have different experiences and expectations of hospitality models than what has been available in the West to date.

“To accommodate this emerging segment of the market, we are looking at a number of offerings ranging from boutiques, pop-up bars and restaurant-led gastro pubs within walking distance of public transport hubs and major apartment complexes through to large scale venues which can accommodate up to 300 people.

“We also hope that this move will benefit New Zealand’s craft beer industry as we bring in new concepts such as the creation of a new Garage Project bar inside one of our retail outlets,” he said.

Pollard says they intend to increase the number of its retail and hospitality venues and also upgrade each of its existing outlets by 2028. They also plan to increase the number of patrons they can accommodate at their venues by a third.

He says the investment will also be a boost for local employment with The Trusts, already the second largest employer in West Auckland, looking to grow its staff numbers by 10% to around 400.

Pollard says the projected increase in revenue will also allow the social enterprise to target the return of $5 million to local community groups each year, through its charity support programmes.

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