Made is Hamilton’s exciting new indoor precinct, a one-stop shop where you can buy locally grown and made grocery items, grab some takeaway, enjoy a few drinks over a meal and browse a selection of fashion and retail stores.
Stark Property, the creator of The Riverbank Lane and Panama co-working spaces (also both in Hamilton), has transformed the former Waikato Regional Council building into a regional smorgasbord, featuring over 40 vendors.
“The Waikato has always been the food basket of the country, [but] we’ve never really showcased it,” Stark Property director Matt Stark tells Broadsheet. “The hope here is [to get] closer to the maker and creator … That was part of the vision from the start.”
Stark and his wife, Jaimee Stark (the creative lead at Stark Property), always mused over places like Melbourne’s many markets and Chelsea Market in New York. But it was Christchurch’s Riverside Market – founded by Richard Peebles, Kris Inglis and Mike Percasky – that got Made over the line. “[It] gave us the confidence to go, 'Actually, it might work,'” he says. “Funnily enough, I still can’t believe we’ve got this together in Hamilton. People want it.”
Off the Grey Street entrance, you’re greeted with all the stalls you’ll ever need to stock your pantry and fridge, including Volare bakery, Bare Refill Grocery, Expleo Butchery and Pirongia Mountain vegetables. There are also kiosks, including Mamas Donuts, as well as smoothie and acai-bowl-maker Soul Boul.
Follow the brick-paved ramp down into the Mess Hall, an urban food court that sits high among the native treetops and overlooks the Waikato Te Awa (river) below. This is a feature that drives Stark, and he wants to celebrate it. “So we’ve been linking the river through some of our developments – this is another one of those.”
It’s here you’ll find award-winning Little ‘Lato’s first Hamilton ice-cream parlour, Amphora Wine Bar from sommelier Kieran Clarkin (who’s worked at Melbourne’s Kisume and King & Godfree), Japanese outfit Omo Omo, Asian street food from On a Roll, Mr Twist pretzels and Burger Burger, to name a few. The very first tenant to sign on was restaurateur David Lee with his second Crack Chicken venue (the first is in Wellington’s underground arcade, Willis Lane).
Behind Hāpi’s 16-tap craft beer bar, there’s a golf simulator to the left and a velvet-laden karaoke room to the right, which can comfortably cater for up to 12 of your friends.
The retail outlets live upstairs on the mezzanine – which is the fourth storey. There’s ethical fashion and homewares shop Found, which moved from Riverbank Lane, clothing store Rumor (from Cambridge), a massage therapist and more. A jeweller will also join in April next year, while an all-day Italian eatery will open in March, overlooking the treetops with a large outdoor deck area.
The Sheds are on the lowest level of Made, where you’ll find chef Karl Martin-Boulton’s eight-seat fine diner The Green. Its neighbours include Grey Roasting Co’s sleek brew bar, Mystery Creek Ceramics and Fabrik hair salon.
Jaimee Stark worked alongside Designwell's interior designers and Edwards White Architects to transform the four-level rabbit warren into “the Tron’s” own six-day indoor market, complete with 127 car parks. It features repurposed timbers from Hawke’s Bay, plus a host of finer details, such as the hand-tied wheat bunches hanging from the ceiling above the mezzanine and a massive sign towering above Grey Street.
Made really is Stark’s proclamation of love for the city, where the builder-by-trade grew up. “As cheesy as it sounds, I love a win-win outcome: if I see a business succeeding, I feel like that’s our success [as well],” he says. “The biggest thing I love seeing is when people come here, they smile and go, ‘This is cool.’ That’s what gets me out of bed.”
401 Grey Street, Hamilton East, Hamilton
Made Market and Mezzanine:
Wed to Mon 9am–5pm
Made Mess Hall
Wed to Mon 11am–late
Opening hours differ for each operator