Redeveloped O’Connell’s Mall Queenstown wins Property Council retail award

Auckland, 23 June 2023: The newly redeveloped O’Connell’s Mall in the centre of Queenstown has been awarded Excellence and Best in Category for the Yardi Retail Property Award at tonight’s Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards held at Spark Arena.

Originally built in the 1980’s, O’Connell’s Mall, owned by Skyline Enterprises, recently underwent a facelift overseen by the team at Naylor Love, working alongside McAuliffe Stevens Architects and Powell Fenwick Consultants.

The iconic building sets a new benchmark for quality in the Queenstown CBD, attracting luxury retailers and providing an upmarket offering for visitors to the region and locals alike.

The high-end redevelopment, which was three years in the planning and two years in construction, involved upgrading the overall facilities with a fresh new design including a striking chrome exterior and contemporary luminescent interior.

To bring O’Connell’s into a new era, the Naylor Love construction team demolished the building back to its primary structure and strengthened the floors, walls, and columns. The centre of the mall was rebuilt in an open-plan configuration with a mixture of retail and office spaces over four levels, including Skyline Enterprise’s head office. The roof was lifted, new street access created and upgraded services were installed, collectively establishing a modern feel for the mall and increasing tenancy desirability for luxury retailers looking to establish a presence in the resort.

O’Connell’s has a treasured place in the region’s history and has been at the heart of Queenstown’s hospitality and retail centre for generations. Firstly, as a meeting place for gold miners in the 1880s, then a hotel, before finally becoming the area’s first major shopping centre in 1988.

With the redevelopment of this iconic property, the O’Connell’s tradition continues, marking a maturing of Queenstown’s overall retail offering. Now home to world-leading international luxury retailer DFS Group over two floors, the ground floor features a range of hospitality operators in a new dining precinct called Eatspace.

Leonie Freeman, Property Council chief executive said, “retail, and particularly retail in Queenstown, has borne the brunt of the uncertainty of the past few years. The redevelopment of O’Connells Mall has reinvigorated the heart of this resort town, attracting high-end international tenants that appeal to both international travellers and discerning locals.”

“The retail sector is at the forefront of social change and a project such as O’Connell’s delivers on more than just financial measures, ensuring it will be an asset to the Queenstown community and a desirable meeting place for people for decades to come.”

Now in its 24th year, the Property Industry Awards celebrate and showcase superior examples of iconic projects in property development and investment across a broad range of sectors and design disciplines, recognising outstanding projects, developments, and refurbishments.

“Property is Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest industry, contributing over $41.2 billion (15 per cent) to our GDP and employing over 200,000 Kiwis. Behind the pretty buildings and architectural flair are dedicated people creating spaces for you and I to live, work and play. Together, we are shaping cities and regions where communities thrive,” concluded Freeman.


Yardi Retail Property Award
Excellence and Best in Category: O’Connell’s Mall
  • Owner/developer/project manager: Skyline Enterprises
  • Construction: Naylor Love
  • Architect: McAuliffe Stevens Architects – Preston Stevens
  • Service engineer: Powell Fenwick Consultants – Ed McDonald
  • Structural engineer: Holmes Consulting – Tony Galavazi
  • Mechanical engineer: Powell Fenwick Consultants – Alex Evans
  • Quantity surveyor: Rhodes & Associates – Linda Jarvis
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