Bethlehem’s Kmart opening marks end of big project

12:54 PM Friday March 18, 2016 Colin Taylor

An aerial view of the Bethlehem Town Centre in which a new Kmart will open on March 24

A new Kmart store is due to open its doors soon as part of the $15 million redevelopment of the Bethlehem Town Centre in Tauranga which is nearing completion.

The Kmart, which joins Countdown as the centre’s anchor tenant, is scheduled to start trading next Thursday March 24 and will be operate seven days a week from 8am until midnight.

The centre, which is managed by Colliers International, comprises about 50 stores. It has more than 1000 free car parks and covers more than 20,000sq m.

Andrew Wadsworth, Bethlehem Town Centre’s manager, the project has been underway for almost a year and Kmart’s opening signifies the completion of the major redevelopment.

He says the redevelopment has added 2000sq m to the centre’s footprint.

“There is great anticipation among customers and retailers with the final piece of the road reconfiguration due to be finished just before the Kmart opening.

“The Bethlehem Kmart will be the second Kmart servicing Tauranga and is the icing on the cake for Bethlehem Town Centre which has a great mix of retailers and product offerings complementing each other.”

The redevelopment project involved the relocation of some existing tenants, demolition of buildings, restructuring of carparks and roads into and out of the centre and the creation of the new Kmart building along with 10 retail units in front of it.

Most of the new units are occupied by food retailers including Tank, Pita Pit, Hello Sushi (previously known as Sushi Time), Domino’s, Bayview Roasts and Fish’n Chips, and Noodle Canteen. Turkish to Go will join the other outlets soon.

In addition to some of the above retailers, relocated tenants up and running in their new locations include Living Quarters, Dollar Value, Liquorland, House of Spice, Clever Kids and the BNZ ATM.

Wadsworth says other businesses that have joined the centre since redevelopment began are high-end clothing store After Hours Eventwear and Wine Export Marketing.

“Additional new tenants are not far away. Omnitech, an IT solutions company, will be opening soon and Hardy’s health store is scheduled to open in May.”

Kmart will be welcomed to the Bethlehem Shopping Centre family with an opening ceremony says Wadsworth.

“A street party atmosphere and celebration will be held between 10am and 3pm on March 24, 26 and 28.

“It will include free children’s entertainment and giveaways including the appearance of Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter and White Rabbit, free face painting, balloon art, ice-cream and Easter eggs.”