13: Victoria Park Market
What if Victoria Park Market actually was a market?
Victoria Park Market, the city’s old municipal refuse station and ‘destructor’; is a unique collection of historic buildings on the edge of the former foreshore across the road from Victoria Park. It has recently undergone an extensive programme of refurbishment of the old coupled with what are quite sensitively placed new buildings. By and large a good job has been done on this physical built environment side of the equation.
But that isn’t the real challenge in getting the VPM site to hum as a thriving and successful place.
You have to crack the nut of activity to be a real destination and draw. The problem is that the location is something of an island apart from everything around it. It is too far from the heavily frequented core of the city centre, the waterfront and up the hill on Ponsonby Road. While the western edge around Victoria Quarter is readily redeveloping and bringing new people to within proxy of the market, I don’t believe this will be enough anytime soon to support the large concentration of retail and hospitality they have gone with.
What would work to draw Aucklanders from far and wide? Isn’t it time Auckland could support a permanent food market? This seems like the ideal location. There could be the opportunity for the beginnings of a foodie precinct with the Daldy Street Linear Park connecting VPM with Sandford’s Fish Market. Really go to town with a focus on food; get La Cigale to relocate and work towards a vision of an Auckland version of Queen Vic Markets in Melbourne.
Image credit: Craig https://www.flickr.com/photos/craigsyd