Whitcoulls closes book on Pakuranga Plaza

Bookstore chain Whitcoulls is shutting up shop at Pakuranga Plaza.

Pakuranga Plaza’s landlord GYP Properties, a subsidiary of Singapore-based Global Yellow Pages, has confirmed to the Times that Whitcoulls is to vacate the shopping centre.

The store is expected to close at the end of the month.

Meanwhile the owners of Whitcoulls, James Pascoe Group, told the Times they had no comment to make.

The Times also approached Whitcoulls CEO Brenda Pennycuick but has not yet received a reply.

A Pakuranga Plaza spokesperson provided this statement from GYP Properties:

“As owners of Pakuranga Plaza we are committed to redeveloping the centre and we are presently working with architects and designers on a master plan that will breathe new life in to the local and wider communities. It is through this process that we unfortunately have some churn of retailers; however we will be actively engaging with many top brands through the development planning and construction to ensure a vibrant new shopping and dining experience for everyone.”

In October 2015, grand plans for development.

The shopping centre was to introduce apartments, retail and entertainment with the aim of creating a “town centre” rather than just a “shopping centre”.

GYP Properties bought the plaza in 2014 for $96 million, and said it would spend more than half a billion dollars on the proposed development.

More than 900 dwellings were included in the plan, with a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom apartments with an average size of 100 square metres.

The site was also be home to a 10-storey hotel building, along with 10,000sqm of office space, 60,000sqm of retail and a conference facility.

Global Yellow Pages chairman Mah Bow Tan said at the time the company knows there is a need to balance commercial interests with those of the community.

“There’s plans for more night market activity, and for more green space. We want to create more a town centre than just a shopping centre per se.”