Covid paused sale of mall; interest good

Meridian Mall owner Lendlease has confirmed it paused the sale of the mall last year because of the significant impacts of Covid-19 on global investment markets.

There had been a healthy level of interest from buyers, Lendlease general manager external affairs Jay Pleass, of Sydney, said.

The Otago Daily Times understands Oyster Property Group, which manages the Meridian Mall, withdrew from a purchase agreement for the mall.

Lendlease released certain information on Meridian Mall tenancies to approved prospective buyers.

Questions have been raised over the mall’s future given Kmart’s departure, the retailer citing concerns over earthquake strengthening.

Smiths City moved into the former Kmart site in September.

In January, another key anchor tenant, H&J Smith, vacated its site due to rising costs and the effect Covid-19 had had on trade.

Plans are proceeding to earthquake-strengthen the Meridian Mall in Dunedin.

Lendlease is continuing to work with Oyster and key consultants on solutions to improve the seismic rating of the building.

The centre meets Dunedin City Council requirements for continued use, has a current building warrant of fitness and complies with the Building Act 2004.

Under the Building Act categorisation, Dunedin is categorised as being in a low seismic risk zone.

The mall continues to trade well and January sales were up 9% on last year for existing tenants.

"Lendlease is confident in the mall’s ability to attract retailers and looks forward to welcoming new tenants to join the vibrant local community," Mr Pleass said.

 

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