Frustration mounts over shopping centre

Posted at 10:00am Wednesday 16 Jun, 2021

Sign of the times – nothing doing.
Sign of the times – nothing doing.

Uncertainty over the future of the Mahurangi Shopping Centre at Snells Beach is causing increasing frustration for local residents and businesses.

The centre's former Four Square supermarket changed hands and closed permanently more than 18 months ago and, despite a chalk sign promising “Big things coming” last June, it remains locked and empty.

Rumours on what may or may not be happening are rife, from a major supermarket going in to the whole centre being bowled and redeveloped.

Scotts Landing resident Chris Russell, who has owned commercial buildings in the past, said the closed supermarket, other empty units and the general state of the entire shopping centre was bad for business and the community.

“There seems to be no attempt to tidy up what's there or find a tenant. I've heard there have been numerous offers of people wanting to restock the Four Square,” he said. “The land and buildings are a disgrace, with repairs and maintenance woefully lacking, which suggests the  owners have no pride or commitment to the shopping centre.”

Mr Russell said with the community growing and more development to come, the potential for the centre was huge.

“The Four Square at Matakana, that's what Snells Beach could be and should be, especially with the growth in population. It could have a lovely beachy feel,” he said. “To have a facility like that is a privileged position. You don't have to have the flashiest or the newest, but take a pride in what you've got. It's a moral obligation.

“The way it's currently going, it's just going to fall further behind. It's not a good look for the community.”

Mahurangi oyster farmer Andrew Hay agreed, saying it was “crazy” and frustrating to no longer have a supermarket, and that it didn't seem right that the landlord could own the centre and leave the biggest store empty. He added that there was a sense of decay across the whole site.

“You can't walk under covered walkways because the gutters send sheets of water down on you, certainly near the Four Square,” he said. “And the main sign for the shopping centre has got nothing on it and is about to be taken over by weeds.”

Snells Beach Ratepayers & Residents Association chair Peter Beekman said he had emailed the shopping centre landlord, Tony Bosnyak of Vinko Holdings Ltd, to ask what was happening, but had only received “very limited sharing of information”.

“He just said there's potential for development,” he said. “I believe things are being looked at, but nothing is being shared. The community is concerned. It's not looking that smart.”

Mahurangi Matters emailed Mr Bosnyak to ask him about Mahurangi Shopping Centre, the empty supermarket and plans for its future, but did not get a  reply.

According to the New Zealand Companies Register, Mr Bosnyak is sole director of Vinko Holdings, plus six other companies – Bosnyak Investments, Bosnyak Lifecare Management, Bosnyak Property Investments, Epsom Lifecare, First Union Financial Corporation, and Orongo Lifecare.


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