K’ Road, or Karangahape Road, is a little bit unique. It’s Auckland’s cultural capital, a place where “you could wear a paper bag and no one would blink an eye”.
The centre piece of this bustling street is the historic St Kevins Arcade, a 90 year old stylistic medley of Neo-Greek, Art Deco and Arts and Crafts. Treasured by all walks of life, the Arcade is K’ Road’s temple of creativity. Patrons can drink coffee while gazing through ornate windows onto Auckland’s modern skyline, they can browse though intricate stores that once stocked fur coats and pianos.
“Saint Kevins Arcade is an unusual space – it has developed a cultural following which few other places can claim. Certainly no other building in central Auckland has the resonance which is a feature of this place”
– Edward Bennett, Local Historian
Before St Kevins Arcade there was St Kevens House, a large estate with winding gardens and tennis courts, occupied by the Nathan family until 1918 and demolished two years later. Before the Nathan family vacated their city abode, they gifted a strip of land to serve as a passage from K’ Road to the Myers Park, and this strip of land is where the famous St Kevins Arcade sits today.
The arcade was built in 1924, and then extended in 1926. The economy was thriving at this stage, and K’ Road was Auckland’s premier shopping destination, often compared to Oxford Street in London. St Kevins Arcade was home to the best of Auckland’s tailors and dressmakers, tea rooms and photography studios.
St Kevins Arcade is currently undergoing a restoration sympathetic to its style and enhancing its character. There are limited spaces available for new boutique retailers to join the existing arcade community. Potential new retailers should have an intimate knowledge of their products, and who will further the Arcade’s creative reputation.
Put simply, we need authentic, small brands who have big ideas. If you think you have what it takes, speak to us.