Man With a Plan

A photo of Matt Stark sitting on a couch.

Matt Stark

Well-known in Hamilton Kirikiriroa thanks to his delivery of some of Hamilton's finest developments, including the much-loved Riverbank Lane, Matt Stark has breathed new life into the mighty river city.

Matt tells us about his latest work—Made, a stunning indoor market filled with growers, artisan vendors, eateries, and lifestyle stores.

Tell us a little about the journey that led you to Made.

We felt that Hamilton needed a place that showcased the amazing makers and creators as well as the Waikato food basket. After seeing examples around the globe, we thought it was time for Hamilton to have that. We had the right property and thought, why not.

What are the fundamental principles in putting together something like Made?

Buckets of tenacity, a pinch of delusion and years of creditably delivering projects and looking after tenants. Building trust. Working with a good design team and having a wife like Jaimee Stark.

What do you want people to experience when visiting Made?

We want people to be surprised by the quality of vendors and food, cooked and raw produce. Another place for Hamiltonians to be proud of.

Will we continue to see more developments like Made around the country? And why are they so popular now?

I think so. People really want to support local and get to know the makers and creators and hear the story of where their food came from and how it got there.

You've curated spaces for many Hamilton brands; what does that process look like, and how do you get them to trust your design direction?

Years of building credibility and starting with little things. Going above and beyond the client's expectations, then the snowball effect happens. But always being truly interested in creating a win-win outcome for both parties.

Where do you find inspiration?

From travelling, following good architects and designers from around the globe and surrounding yourself with good local design talent.

What are your daily habits or rituals that are important to you?

Porridge with the kids, coffee with Jaimee, gym at lunchtime and being home at 5pm with the family.

Matt's Neat Places