This important part of Auckland has a unique heritage of history, culture and architecture. Once neglected, it has emerged as a vibrant mixed-use community.
Lying between the Waitemata Harbour and Auckland’s lower CBD, Britomart is a 6.5-hectare waterfront precinct of heritage buildings, new developments and open and intimate public spaces. It is immediately adjacent to Auckland’s main transport hub, Britomart Transport Centre.
The area has a rich history as Auckland’s first mercantile centre and is home to one of the largest concentrations of heritage buildings in the city. After a long period of neglect in the 1980s and 90s, Britomart has been given a new lease of life by its long-term owners, The Britomart Group.
Today Britomart is a busy and diverse mix of restaurants, bars, boutiques, offices and services, with over 100 businesses now in the precinct. Britomart continues to grow and evolve as more and more people and companies join the community.
By 2017, there will be close to 250 businesses based here contributing to the 24/7 buzz of Britomart.
Vision for Britomart
The Britomart Group’s vision for Britomart is a place that celebrates New Zealand and brings together the best of many cultures. It is diverse, urban, energetic and welcoming day and night. It is street-based and pedestrian-focused and combines heritage and cutting-edge elements in interesting and unexpected ways. Britomart’s growth is being carefully planned and managed to ensure it respects its heritage, maintains the right mix of elements and integrates gracefully into its environment. The Britomart Group is committed to the long-term ownership and management of Britomart. This is to ensure that as the Britomart community evolves, its special character is retained and preserved as a legacy for future generations.
A Precinct in Progress
The master plan for Britomart includes the refurbishment of 18 heritage buildings and the construction of seven environmentally-friendly new ones.
Work began on restoring the old buildings in 2004, and many have now been fully refurbished. On completion, it will be the largest heritage restoration project ever undertaken in New Zealand.
Charter Customs Building, the precinct’s first new building and the first element of Westpac on Takutai Square, opened in 2009.
Two major new buildings, the Ernst & Young Building and the second element of Westpac on Takutai Square, were completed in April 2011. Opened at the same time was Atrium on Takutai, the covered shopping gallery running between the two new buildings.
Medium-term retail developments include The Pavilions, a complex of designer boutiques, courtyard gardens and hospitality spaces in the centre of the precinct, completed in December 2012. The 1970s Seafarers Building on Tyler Street has undergone an interim refurbishment, though there are more plans for development in the future.
In 2014 the Quay and Altrans buildings were refurbished. Bringing back past features that had been destroyed in previous renovation works and redesigning the spaces to suit food and beverage tenants on the ground floors and offices above.