The Precinct

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Open 7 days a week

28 Helwick Street, Wanaka

The Precinct came on the scene in late 2020 as a stylish, shared complex with a range of alluring retail and hospitality stores. From laminations at modern coffee shop & milkbar Wee Tart, to self-care at Ukiyo Salon, high-end shopping at DEVàl, celebratory cakes from Cakes of Wānaka, and curated everyday items at Revology Concept Store & Tea House, this new jewel in the Wānaka crown provides thoughtful retail and hospitality in an elegant, yet approachable space. For the lucky residents of Wānaka, it even boasts a cool coworking space on the top level, called Bad Company.

The Precinct is a tried-and-true family owned business. While the space was purchased by owners Steve and Katrina Norman in 2014, they partnered with their son (the architect) and daughter (in charge of brand development and design) to bring their vision to life. Steve saw it as an opportunity to transform the former 1970’s police station into one of his many dreams and schemes: an international and modern take on the dated concept of a shopping mall. The goal was clear: provide a vibrant place for consumers to enjoy while also creating a stomping ground for up-and-comers in the creative scene of Wānaka to exhibit, promote, and sell their products and services. A true cornerstone of the community. 

The complex bears no resemblance to the sterile shopping malls of the past. Rather, the design inspiration comes from a New York Precinct (fitting, as it was originally born as a police station!) with concrete and light coloured brick throughout. There’s even an expansive rooftop terrace that nearly feels like you’re relaxing in the Mediterranean, if not for the distinct Wānaka mountain range views ahead. An afternoon of shopping and hospitality before calling it a day on a rooftop? Don’t mind if we do.

Words by Caitlin Brown & Photography by Nancy Zhou

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28 Helwick Street, Wanaka

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