Takapuna is one of Auckland’s most important and iconic centres. It’s also one I know well given I work there.
But like so many places around Auckland, it could do with some love and Auckland Council and Panuku Development Auckland have big plans to do just that, to help encourage more development and much needed housing in the area.
One of those plans is to, at great cost, replace the existing Anzac St carpark with a multi-storey carparking building nearby on Huron St. They would then redevelop the existing carpark into a town square and sell some parts of it for development. Many support this change, including even the local business association, but there has been significant opposition from some, including the local board who are trying to prevent any development of it.
So the Council and Panuku have launched another consultation on what to do with the land and are asking for feedback on three options.
Significant population growth is expected in Takapuna over the next 30 years. Smart redevelopment is required to accommodate this growth.
Our vision is to create a vibrant, safe and accessible town square at 40 Anzac Street, in the centre of Takapuna. This is off the back of engagement earlier this year, as well as consultation and planning dating back to 2010.
The town square would add around 3,000sqm of council-owned public space to Takapuna. We would partner with the private sector to deliver new homes, shops, eateries and offices on the rest of the site. There is some misinformation out there about this development, and it’s our responsibility to give you the facts.
With that last sentence there’s clearly a level of frustration at some of the discussion that’s been happening. It’s something I’ve heard from many others too. The local board already seem upset that the consultation is open to everyone and not just a select group of people.
With the two “do something” options (1 & 2), Panuku have even created some 360° visualisations of what it may look like. The birds-eye views below show the concept along with where the visualisations are looking from.
Option 1 – Town square Hurstmere to Lake Road
This option effectively creates a long square from the mall through to Hurstmere Green, which flows down towards the beach.
This option locates the square between Lake and Hurstmere Roads. This option would be sunny and safe, with strong links from Shore City and the bus stops down to the beach. It would have views of Rangitoto and could accommodate large events, particularly in conjunction with Hurstmere Road.
I suspect this option would be the best for those wanting to retain the Sunday markets. I could imagine stalls lined up along the route and then down Hurstmere Rd which Auckland Transport are planning on upgrading.
Below is one part of the visulasation of Option 1
Option 2 – Town square adjacent to Potters Park
In this one, the square is more of a square and located next to Potters Park
This option is sheltered from winds with strong connections to Potters Park. It could accommodate large events, especially in summer when Potters Park could be used.
And here’s part of the visualisation for Option 2
You may noticed on both Options 1 and 2 that it includes widening the existing connection through to Hurstmere Green. Looking closely, it appears that all three buildings here would go and be partially replaced (the Design Store building has been empty all year).
Option 3 – No town square
This is the do-nothing option and the groups opposing change are pushing this option very strongly.
This would mean the status quo remains:
- The site at 40 Anzac Street would remain a car park, with no town square or additional public space created for Takapuna
- The site at 14 Huron Street would not be developed in to a multi-level car parking building and the apartment development on the other part of this site would not go ahead
- No upgraded bus facilities on Lake Road
- No streetscape improvements along Huron and Northcroft streets
We do not believe that this option benefits the future of Takapuna. Doing nothing in this key central site won’t create the people-friendly environment envisioned for Takapuna.
The main opposition group/s are calling for the entire capark to become a public space. They also want a multi-storey carpark underground on the site (as well as the one on Huron St). I’m not a designer but I suspect it would be a soulless and desolate place if they got their wish. The Aotea Square of the North.
I can’t help but think that if this option comes out on top, that the Council and Panuku should put a hold on all investment in Takapuna. There are many places all around Auckland screaming out for investment and would be happy to see more development in their areas. That would be bad for Takapuna.
The consultation is open till 10-August.