You’re a council that wants to create a better city, one that has quality urban environments, enough housing and that is easy to get around by public transport or by walking and cycling. But, you currently have a housing crisis, a congestion crisis and it’s hard to solve any of it because you have a funding crisis. What do you do?
If you’re Auckland Council you focus on making all of that worse.
Last week the Council’s Planning Committee confirmed a “change of use” for 40 Anzac Street, Takapuna, meaning it can be used for purposes other than car parking. That’s good news and is part of Panuku’s plan to redevelop Takapuna.
Well-designed public spaces, new homes and employment opportunities can now be realised in central Takapuna following a decision to develop the Anzac Street carpark.
A “change of use” for 40 Anzac Street, Takapuna, was granted today by Auckland Council’s Planning Committee, meaning the site can be used for purposes other than car parking.
“The Anzac Street carpark has been a soulless carpark for too long. Takapuna deserves better,” says North Shore Ward Councillor and Planning Committee Chair Chris Darby.
“This location has the potential to provide new public spaces to cater for markets and events such as the annual ANZAC memorial service. It will also provide better and safer pedestrian connections and convenient local car parking will be provided just down the road. We want to hear from locals throughout the design process to ensure that the changes help to unlock the potential of this much-loved beachside centre and make the best use of Takapuna’s stunning natural environment.”
Panuku Development Auckland, the council organisation overseeing the revitalisation of Takapuna, will now work alongside the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board to continue discussions with the community. The details of how to get involved in upcoming feedback sessions will be announced shortly.
Panuku Development Director Allan Young says the decision is a positive step in furthering the vision for Takapuna as a key metropolitan centre in Auckland.
“We’ve listened to feedback from the community which identified the desire for new public space, improved connections and plenty of short-stay parking in the surrounding area,” he says.
The plan for the 40 Anzac Street site will address this feedback, and will include:
- People-friendly public spaces including a new town square that will allow for activities like a market
- Well-designed laneways creating connections with Anzac Street, Lake Road and Hurstmere Road
- Creating safer access to Potter’s Park
- Suitable alternative short-stay parking
The problem comes from a requirement that the car park must first be replaced by a new, larger, multi-storey carpark just down the road on the old gasometer site. The requirement was part of a decision from a hearing panel following the recent consultation and the Councillors only had the option of accepting it or starting the whole process again. However, given some of the details we can now see about it, perhaps that wouldn’t have been such a bad idea.
Looking through Auckland Transport’s site recently I came across a few papers on the proposed carpark from one of the AT Board’s closed meetings last year, that have since been made public. The requirement for more car parking in Takapuna originally came from Auckland Transport who have demanded that the 250 spaces at Anzac St be replaced with a minimum of 400 spaces before the Anzac St carpark can be closed. They also have required that Panukau future proof the area for up to an additional 500 car parks. It’s also a pretty sweet deal for AT. The capital cost of the immediate replacement has to be paid for by Panuku but upon completion is to be handed over to AT to collect the revenue on.
The carpark itself is to be a 10-level (but about 5 storey) carpark with about 440 parking spaces. The size of which is shown below and comes from this document. I guess one little positive is that at least the end of the site, the bit that also borders Auburn St, will still be available for development.
The real kicker in this though is the cost. All up it’s expected to cost about $26 million to build, that’s about $60,000 per space. There are a lot of other projects the council could deliver for 26 million. Some of that cost will be offset by selling off the Anzac St land but if weren’t replacing the carpark that would be even more money that could go into improving other things.
That cost of $60k per carpark is also worth noting for when people say we need to provide multi-storey carparks for Park & Ride at train/bus stations.
The other thing that gets me in this process is why the parking needs to be provided by the council/AT at all. I struggle to see a private operator willing to spend that much on a parking building in large part because it’s simply not viable.
Despite all of this, things could have been worse had the council listened to the Local Board who want Takapuna soaked in carparking. They wanted not only the new Gasometer site park but also an additional 400 space, $40 million underground carpark on the Anzac St site, which they later changed to a 9-level above-ground $30 million carpark.