Press Release – Countdown Supermarket
Reading International Inc and Countdown have announced today that they have entered into a lease to incorporate a new supermarket as an anchor tenant into Reading’s “flagship” Courtenay Central Entertainment Centre in Wellington.
The new supermarket will be built on top of the surface car park on Wakefield Street, immediately behind the Reading Entertainment complex situated on Courtenay Place.
Countdown Managing Director Dave Chambers said the company has been searching for the right Wellington CBD location for a number of years, and was thrilled to have signed an agreement to lease a site right in the heart of the city.
“It’s no secret that we have been interested in investing in central Wellington for some time, but we were also determined to find the right site, of the right size for the sort of offering we want to provide, and with the access that our customers demand,” says Mr Chambers.
“We’ve been under-represented in the Wellington market and in the last six months we’ve been working to change that by opening stores in Newtown, Tawa and shortly, Petone. The customer response has been great, and we’ve also been able to employ nearly 500 new people as part of our Countdown team.”
Reading Chief Operating Officer John Hunter says “the ground floor of the existing centre will be completely updated and reconfigured to integrate Countdown and add new tenants that will complement the supermarket.”
“We are delighted to add such a strong and innovative tenant to our centre. The supermarket and planned new shops will add a very strong traditional retail component to our already successful entertainment centre,” said Mr. Hunter.
Reading’s plans include the 3,870sqm Countdown supermarket and reconfigures about 929sqm of existing space in the current centre for new tenants. Access to the existing centre, cinema, and the 1,190 space car parks will also be reconfigured. As Reading proceeds with fine-tuning the projects design elements, Reading is also exploring retail and other options to activate the potential rental space that will be created on top of the supermarket.
It is expected that the supermarket and overall project will open in June 2015.