Precinct Properties released their annual report yesterday, and it included the first glimpse of what they are planning to replace the existing Downtown Shopping Centre. As also reported yesterday, the development appears to be on track to start next year and the construction will also include building the CRL tunnels in the basement.

Downtown Albert-Quay Corner

It looks like they’re setting quite a high standard, which is great, and it will look even better when Quay St is eventually made more people-friendly. The cars in the shot are probably just a bit of artistic license, as this part of Albert St will be used to replace the current bus stops around Britomart, which have to go as part of the CRL works and turning lower Queen St into a ‘people’ space.

In addition to the image, we know there’s a lane planned between the HSBC building and this new development, which you can kind of see along with another lane going East-West roughly halfway along the block between Quay and Custom St. I also wish they’d get rid of that pedestrian overbridge.

Here’s what it looks like now.

Downtown Albert-Quay Corner - now

Also as a reminder, this is the tower they’re building. If you look closely you can actually see the development above shown on it but it’s something I never picked up on before.

Precinct Tower 2

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14 comments

  1. Is the top part a solar panel, or just architectural ornamentation?

    Atop the skyscraper, I mean, not the podium. The podium looks okay, but amazingly Liliputan, compared to the big stuff around it.

  2. I was at the meeting. The Podium is to be 3 stories high with shops on ground floor, mixed shops and eating places on second and restaurants on the third, with a sea view. They didn’t seem that sure of reaching their 50% threshold by Christmas. They plan to delay starting until they have reached this 50% mark.

  3. What is the problem with the pedestrian overbridge? It is one of the few, if only, non commercial spaces that offers a view of the harbour in all weather conditions.

    1. Is it non-commercial? I doubt it is owned by Council or AT so I consider it commercial, though I appreciate it is more of a public-private space.

      Personally I’m not too keen on it due to the views it blocks down Albert St and the sense of connection with the water that is lost, but my comment here is not suggesting that it should be removed rather that it shouldn’t have been built with columns in the road. If it is to be built over public land it should at least not also block parts of the footpath. It’s probably too late given it’s constructed and they obviously have an air lease but this seems like an opportunity to at least look at how it’s been built/engineered on the eastern side of the road and whether it’s full weight on that side can be supported by structures on private land.

      1. It is non commercial in the sense that there are no shops etc in it and there is no charge to sit and look at the view. The cost of two 600mm square columns either side of the road is a small price to pay. It is no doubt a separate structure not fixed to either building for seismic reasons. If it can be left open during the construction of the rail tunnels this would give an interesting aspect to the south as well.

  4. I hope they take the opportunity to remove the air bridge support column from the footpath (it’s still shown in the image just above the white van). It might be expensive to do but surely this is the best time to try and incorporate this structural element into the neighbouring building which gets the benefit from the air bridge.

    Ah there we go, this thing: https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-36.8434035,174.7657133,3a,75y,101.75h,74.85t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1snP9kVUcGBJ6DaBgELcjakA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

  5. It looks like another depressing steel and glass bog-standard ugly skyscraper with some half-hearted industrial chic lipstick that fails to conceal the pig. But that is large scale architecture in modern Auckland for you – enough to look good in the drawings, but nothing that costs actual money above the cheapest building possible.

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