02 Oct St Kevins Arcade

A Brief History

Before St Kevins Arcade was constructed, the area was part of an estate that featured St Kevens House. The house had a large section, with tennis courts and multiple gardens. In the years before it was demolished, it was predominately home to the Nathan family, although in the mid-19th century it briefly served as Government House.  The Nathan family vacated the property in 1918 to reside in their country house in Manuwera, St Kevens house was demolished soon after.

Before the Nathan family departed the estate, they gifted a strip of land to serve as a passage from K’ Road through to Myers Park. This piece of land is where St Kevins Arcade sits today, taking its name from the house that used to stand nearby.

St Kevins Arcade was built in 1924 and then extended in 1926.  K’ Road was a premier shopping destination at this time; it was often compared to Oxford Street in London.  Flagship and department stores dotted the ridgeline, and St Kevins Arcade was home to tailors and dressmakers, tea rooms and photography studios.

Sadly, with the introduction of the inner city motorway and suburban malls in the 1960’s, K’ Road and St Kevins Arcade lost its appeal.   Nearby residential areas that supported the road were demolished, rents decreased and this paved the way for Auckland’s red light district to move in.

K’ Road may have lost its department stores and glamourous beauty salons, but it has developed into Auckland’s cultural capital.  St Kevins Arcade is K’ Road’s creative temple, treasured by all walks of life.

The Future

St Kevins Arcade is currently undergoing a sympathetic restoration, and we are pleased to announce that match will be helping to curate a tenant mix from both existing tenants and new tenants that wish to make their mark on the space.

James Kermode, Associate Director at match, is leading the project.  “We will be restoring an iconic piece of Auckland’s retail landscape. Our vision is for St Kevins Arcade to be a home for Auckland’s creative talent to thrive, where customers can engage with something authentic and meaningful”.

“We will be retaining St Kevins Arcade’s character and cultural atmosphere.   Restoration will be sympathetic to the Arcade’s historical nature; this carefully considered schedule of work will ensure this beautiful building is here for generations to come. It will make it an enjoyable space for all walks of life”

St Kevins Arcade is ideally placed between the bustle of K’ Road and the quiet respite of Myers Park.  Foot traffic in this location is the best on the road and public and private investment in the area means it’s a fantastic time to secure a positon in the arcade. If you’re interested in the arcade or how you could become involved, let us know.

StKevinsArcade6StKevinsArcade2  StKevinsArcade4St Kevins Arcade-20 (low res)

  Photos by Emma Boyd