LynnMall Hits 50 Ahead of the Pack

815lynnMajor anniversaries are always a great opportunity to look back, and LynnMall has more to look back on than most: the center, which claims the honor of being New Zealand’s first shopping mall, is celebrating 50 years in operation this year.

According to center representatives, LynnMall officially opened on 30 October 1963, and was built to offer retail services to the burgeoning suburb of New Lynn, the growth of which was fuelled by the Crown Lynn factory. It was officially opened by then-Minister of Internal Affairs Sir Leon Gotz in an event attended by thousands.

The centre was built on a previously empty seven-acre section and at the time of opening had 35 stores and a sealed carpark with 500 spaces.

Since then it’s grown quite a bit, with a three-stage development in 1969 that added 143 parking spaces, extended the retail space and added a roof to enclose the mall. In 1999 it expanded again, with a $60 million upgrade that was celebrated in an opening ceremony led by then-Prime Minister Jenny Shipley.

“As the first shopping centre to open in New Zealand, LynnMall was a trailblazer and pioneer in the retail industry, and remains at the forefront of its community,” says Shelley Jenkin, LynnMall’s centre manager. “On the occasion of our 50th anniversary we are delighted to celebrate the centre’s success and significant contribution to the west Auckland community, of which we are proud to be a part.”

The center has big plans to celebrate throughout September and October with activities like 50 Years of Fashion, an exhibition of fashion trends during the past 50 and an extension to the photo wall that serves as a visual history of the centre.

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