Archive | Neighbourhoods

Parsons tries again for more Union St parking

Planning consent, 24 September 2002:

City western fringe, 29 Union St, a renewed attempt has been made by Charles Parsons NZ Ltd (Andrew Mills, William Scott & Jimy Liaskos) to add 22 parking spaces to the site for a total 96.

The company wants different independent planning commissioners to hear the application, from those who turned it down last time. It also wants a broad consent allowing the company to choose what goes on in the building, within the permitted activity classification.

The proposal would result in 56 more parking spaces than required under the proposed district plan.

Council central area senior planner Heather McNeal said Charles Parsons also sought consent to use “the whole or any part of the existing building for any activity listed as a permitted activity for the site in the district plan.”

She said the proposal also required assessment as a discretionary activity due to the location within a defined road boundary & an interchange control area. Changes in traffic generation and cumulative traffic effects were other prime assessment issues.

Ms McNeal said in her memo on the hearing application that Charles Parsons was seeking consent for the same number of parking spaces as it sought previously. That previous application was declined on 2 August 2001 and is subject to appeal. However the company said the new application was significantly different.

Charles Parsons justified the high level of parking in the earlier application by saying it was needed to attract tenants to a fringe location. Since then, change in the neighbourhood has been brought through an application to build the Harbour Green apartment project up the street on the Auckland Drape Co site at 11 Union St, starting at 110 units last November and increased to 132 in an application granted consent on 13 September. It will have 55 parking spaces.
Harbour Green on Union St grows to 132 units

April story: Extra parking for Union St property to be notified

Click to return to Auckland City consent activity 24 September 2002

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Porter prepares for 3rd stage of Remarkables Park

Queenstown retail centre will eventually contain 30,000m² of shops

Porter Group Ltd has designed the 3rd stage of its Remarkables Park development at Queenstown and will seek consent from the Queenstown Lakes District Council for some buildings in May, with more to follow.

“We’ve got room for 2 more anchor stores of the 3-4000m² level, up to 10 medium-sized stores of 500-1000m² and then another 25-30 shops, including restaurants,” managing director Alastair Porter said.

Remarkables Park is a comprehensive zone between Queenstown’s airport, at the head of Frankton Arm, and the Kawarau River outlet to Lake Wakatipu, where Porter started work in 1995, seeking a commercial zoning. The company opened the 1st stage of the shopping centre in 1999 with New World, then expanded to 5 anchor stores in 2000, when The Warehouse, Mitre 10, the Element sports store owned by H&J Smith, and Big Scotty’s furniture store opened.

“It’s a very good quality shopping centre, not just big box. Ultimately we’ll have 30,000m² of retail,” Mr Porter said.

Total development area 130ha

The shopping centre site occupies about 10ha of the total 130ha. The council zoned enough land commercial to eventually allow a retail centre the same size as downtown Queenstown.

“We’d like to start work in July, finish this stage in 18 months and finish the shopping centre 3 years from now.”

Mr Porter said the development would also cater for offices & showrooms, and the centre would eventually have more than 1000 carparks and strong public transport links.

The shopping centre is a key component of the wider Remarkables Park development. With the highest density in Queenstown, the rest of Remarkables Park will be able to accommodate 6000 people in houses, apartments & hotels. A 2nd, upmarket retail village south of the shopping centre is also envisaged.

Integrated mixed-use community

“Our vision is to create an integrated, higher-density, mixed-use community, complementing Queenstown & Arrowtown, but with its own character and with emphasis on quality design & extensive landscaping.

“The rapid rate at which the town is currently growing means this is a very appropriate time to bring on the stage 3 development,” he said.

“Demand for commercial accommodation in Queenstown, particularly retail space, is currently well ahead of supply, and Remarkables Park is intent on bringing that back into balance, with lots of opportunities for new and existing retailers.”

New centre of district

Mr Porter said the Frankton, Remarkables Park & Shotover districts would become the “centre of Queenstown” because of the physical constraints of the mountains surrounding downtown Queenstown.

The council’s recent infill study confirmed this, showing all major new developments were centred to the east of downtown Queenstown. These include Remarkables Park, Kelvin Heights, Lake Hayes & Quail Rise, as well as the communities in the Wakatipu Basin, Arrowtown & Gibbston.

“The Queenstown Tomorrow forum made it very clear that was also the general view, and that people wanted to see more development at Remarkables Park.”

Mr Porter said the Remarkables Park shopping centre was not only for locals, but was a regional centre at the crossroads of state highways, catering for visitors within a 100km radius.

“People from Alexandra, Cromwell, Wanaka & Kingston & surrounding rural areas who used to go shopping in Dunedin & Invercargill are now often coming to us.

“Stages 1 & 2 of the development have been hugely successful with retailers & customers, and Remarkables Park will be building on this success.”

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Lunn Ave quarry notification

Mt Wellington quarry redevelopment progress

The developers of the Lunn Ave quarry in Mt Wellington, Fletcher Challenge and Brierley Investments, won a quick compromise from Auckland City Council’s planning and regulatory committee on Friday after questioning the committee’s decision to give a 60-day public notification period for submissions to be made on the private scheme change instead of the usual 20 working days.

The two big-name owners are carrying out the development through subsidiaries Winstone and Patras Investments and have commissioned numerous reports over the past three years to determine how they should redevelop the 110ha property, which divides high-priced Remuera and St Johns from Panmure and Glen Innes.

Despite the extent of consultation already, committee chairman Juliet Yates said “it will be of enormous interest to community and environmental groups. We’ve found it isn’t really fair on community groups [to allow the standard 20-day notification period] because they often meet only once a month.” However, she was prepared to recommend 30 days and that timeframe was agreed.

The council’s manager of isthmus & islands resource management, Karen Bell, said a 60-day period was recommended because of the size of the site, scale of the plan change and range of issues. But, she said, “30 working days would be fine.”

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Update: Urban Jungle Café gets consent

Planning consent, 16 August 2002:

Grey Lynn, 571 Great North Rd, Auckland City Council’s regulatory & fixtures sub-committee granted the Urban Jungle Café Ltd (Rebecca So’e) non-notified hearing & resource consent to extend its operating hours after deferring the application on 26 July to clarify operating hours in the area and discovering the nearby Occam Café can open 24 hours/day 7 days/week.

Councillors worry about operating hours at edge of busy junction

Planning consent, 26 July 2002:

Grey Lynn, 571 Great North Rd, Auckland City Council’s regulatory & fixtures sub-committee granted non-notified hearing but deferred a decision on Urban Jungle Café Ltd (Rebecca So’e)’s resource consent application to extend its operating hours.

The café is in a new Sterling Nominees Ltd (Michael & Jason Friedlander) building which has 5 residential units upstairs. The 908m² property is in a triangle between Selbourne St & Surrey Cres, faces Great North Rd as it swings down Chinaman’s Hill, from Grey Lynn to Western Springs, and is on the edge of the Grey Lynn shops, which include numerous cafés, restaurants, takeaways, video shops and a 24-hour Foodtown supermarket a block away, on the Williamson Ave-Coleridge St corner.

The 100m² café (plus 35m² outdoor seating) opens daily at 8am and sought to extend its 5.30pm Monday-Friday closing hours to stay open until 11pm Monday-Thursday, midnight Friday-Sunday. It might have got through if a neighbouring café didn’t have a closing time half an hour earlier.

Committee chairman, Cllr Juliet Yates, felt the committee should consider residents, and the effects of street noise at midnight on a Sunday.

Cllr Bill Christian asked: “Why they need this Sunday late trading, that’s what I want to know.”

And so the consent application was deferred for consultant planner Anna Sinnott to clarify hours in the area before closing hours are imposed on the café — perhaps complete with an answer for Cllr Christian that the café has Sunday-night customers who don’t all work 9-5 and feel obliged to go home when it gets dark.

Click to return to Auckland City consent activity 16 August 2002

Click to return to Auckland City consent activity 26 July 2002

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Bronze Goat to become Pog Mahones

Planning consent, 20 September 2002:

Ponsonby, 108 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland City Council’s regulatory & fixtures sub-committee granted Pog Mahones (Ponsonby) Ltd (Brian Collins & Roy Thompson, Dunedin, also Pog Mahones International Ltd, Alexandra, and Frenzi Investment Group Ltd; Mr Thompson is also director of Wakatipu Air Leasing Ltd) non-notified hearing & resource consent to convert the Bronze Goat restaurant into a tavern, still with restaurant facilities.

The 2-storey building, owned by Samson Corp Ltd (Michael & Jason Friedlander), has been a restaurant since 1977. Bronze Goat Restaurant Ltd (Patrick & Millicant O’Reilly) was established in 1982.

The Pog Malones themed Irish tavern will have dining/bar and garden on the ground level, toilets, kitchen, function bar for up to 50 people upstairs. The first-floor deck at the rear will be demolished in the conversion.

The tavern will operate 7 days, 10am-2am.

Click to return to Auckland City consent activity 20 September 2002

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Gillespie sells Pakiri land

Buyer will stick to complying subdivision

Developer Ian Gillespie has sold his controversial Pakiri property to Kauri Tree Ltd, owned by Tauranga developer Paul Adams and partners.

The deal went unconditional on 31 October, for settlement in January. The price is undisclosed but was part of a package.

The sale means Mr Gillespie will not continue to test the High Court rejection of his subdivision proposal in the Appeal Court — but the new owners have not decided yet quite how to carry out the subdivision, so the case may not be dropped.

Mr Adams said the company intended to carry out a complying subdivision. “We’ve got a few other ideas, but within the allowable,” he said.

The package also includes just over 7ha between Whangaparaoa Rd and the Weiti River at Red Beach, where Mr Gillespie had three houses, implements and boat sheds and a wharf.

Five years of battling

Mr Gillespie bought the Pakiri land, 149ha rising steeply from the southern end of the isolated beach, in 1995 and got resource consent to subdivide the six titles into nine lots. He then sought to create 14 rural-residential lots, a nonconforming subdivision which was rejected by the Rodney District Council.

The Environment Court, impressed by the extensive revegetation programme, approved the more intense subdivision in October 1999. In the High Court, Justice Robert Chambers roundly rejected this basis of approval and ordered the application back to the Environment Court. Mr Gillespie’s application to Justice Chambers for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal was due to be heard on 20 November.

Environment Court Judge Gordon Whiting said the design methodology of landscape architect Denis Scott would enhance a landscape denuded of its vegetation last century for pastoral use, resulting in soil instability and erosion. An important aspect was that screening to hide buildings was not the most important issue. Mr Scott’s aims were to inhibit erosion and encourage moisture retention.

Houses a no-no for ARC

But witnesses for the Rodney District Council (until it quit the case in February last year) and the Auckland Regional Council emphasised the appearance of houses in this landscape as an extremely adverse effect of the 14-lot subdivision.

This point was re-emphasised last week in a Rodney hearing on an application by farmer John Matheson to transfer titles from the hillside above Mr Gillespie’s land so he could create more lots behind the dunes, on the flat at the end of the beach.

ARC counsel John Burns took the Chambers decision to mean a halt to residential development along Pakiri Beach, a much sterner approach than the council took to nearby development proposals over the past five years. One of the key issues in this is the battle by local government planners to have their plans recognised as final arbiters of what will be allowed, versus the eternal desire of developers to create something different, just this once.

Mr Burns put it this way: “In my submission, the objectives and policies of the regional policy statement and the district plan, so recently endorsed by the High Court, are quite plain.

“There should be no increase in the number of lots available for residential development and opportunities for dwellings in the Mangawhai-Pakiri special character area, and new residential development and other structures on those lots which presently exist should be located in such a way as to be visually unobtrusive.”

Referring to the Matheson proposal, Mr Burns took the Chambers judgment well beyond what the judge said, into the absolutely-no-housing realm of past ARC evidence: “… the proposal does not achieve the other objectives of limiting the number of sites in the Pakiri area to the number which exists at present, and to ensuring that dwellings and other buildings will not be constructed on the headland on the southern [Matheson] property.”

Gillespie has other plans

Mr Gillespie was relieved at the end of a long battle, but sad not to see it through. “I’ll be happy being away from spending another $30,000 to get a decision one way or another,” he said.

“I got what I consider a fair price. Having said that, I feel sad that this thing isn’t resolved once and for all. I still think it would have been in our favour [in the Court of Appeal]. It might have been sufficient to alter a few planners’ thoughts — let’s hope it’s reflected in the district plan [and a new draft of that is released on 28 November for submissions].”

Mr Gillespie has an Orewa project on the table — a 13-storey tower in the centre of the beach town’s business area, to contain 80 apartments above 3600m² of retail mall. He has one objector, the National Trading Co (New World supermarket), arguing parking issues.

That objection came after one call asking if he’d be prepared to lease a large ground-floor area to one tenant, which he rejected. “You end up with your business being controlled by a single tenant who has a disproportionate say, and you let your building for half the rent everybody else would pay.”

Apart from that, Mr Gillespie might head out of the area for a while: “I think I could possibly avoid deals in the ARC area from now on. There are some very interesting things in the provincial areas that are still great to work in.”

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Long Bay designation hearings on hold

Council says negotiations more productive

North Shore City Council said on Friday it will not hold any hearings on the Long Bay designation while it works on sealing its proposed acquisition of 38.5ha beside the Long Bay regional park.

Submissions on the council’s variation 64 to the district plan are scheduled to close on Friday 1 March.

In addition, the city council & Auckland Regional Council decided last August to designate about 44ha of Long Bay land, bought from the Robinson family by Landco Ltd (Greg Olliver), for reserve purposes.

Submissions on the city council designation were originally to close on 9 November 2001.

Cllr Margaret Miles, who chairs the city council’s services & parks committee, said the compulsory acquisition process had been superceded by more productive negotiations with Landco, and the 2 councils’ notices of requirement were on hold.

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Taradale settles

Developer and agent settle dispute
Tim Manning, of Taradale Properties, and Martin Dunn, of City Sales, have ended their acrimonious dispute over fees with a last-minute settlement.
Mr Dunn took Mr Manning to court claiming $288,000 in unpaid fees and gst for work done on promoting Taradale’s 105-unit Albany Basin residential project, The Grange, which on a valuation given for a mezzanine finance issue 15 months ago had a gross completion value of $19 million.
The High Court action was conducted in chambers and was at the stage where, if Taradale was found to owe the claimed money, the next step would have been an application to wind up the high-profile development company.
At a chambers hearing before Master Anne Gambrill in the High Court on January 24, Taradale applied to strike out the claim. The master issued a ruling last Monday, again in chambers, and a settlement was completed on Friday.
Mr Dunn said the settlement sum could not be revealed, but added: “I’m very satisfied with the quantum.” Mr Manning said today: “That’s all done. We paid in full last week.”
City Sales was paid $100,000, which Taradale said was a loan, in December 1997.
Mr Dunn says the long delay in getting further payment had taken its toll. “One guy has effectively lost his career, two have lost their homes through non-payment. When you work on a project you really can’t do any other work.”
The standard procedure for handling deposits on projects such as The Grange is for the money to be held in the trust account of the developer’s solicitor.
Although Mr Dunn said this was his first “nightmare”project in 20 years, he said it had forced him to change his approach to deposits. “I will not accept projects where the deposits aren’t held by City Sales’ trust account.”
That may make life tough for a specialist in this type of work because, as Mr Dunn noted, the existing payments basis is one insisted on by the banks. “If you don’t pay the deposit to the vendor’s solicitor, you don’t get the job.”
Mr Dunn says he has had no explanation for the nonpayment of fees. “Our fees are tax-deductible and the banks expect agency fees as part of development. I’m sure banks wouldn’t back a development if there were no agencies to back it up.”
City Sales sold the first 60 units in The Grange in six weeks in late 1997, but it took Taradale 16 months to get resource consent out of the North Shore City Council for the project, on the old Albany road near Massey University’s Albany campus. The project was relaunched in September 1998 and was completed last August.
Mr Manning said Mr Dunn had “kicked up a fuss” about getting paid, but had been sacked halfway through the marketing programme after the initial sales burst was not followed by further sales. “I’m unlikely to use him and again and probably vice versa,” Mr Mannin said.
Taradale’s recent focus has been on the Sacramento residential subdivision next to AMP Asset Management’s Botany Downs town centre between Manukau and Howick. The medium-density 10ha development has been designed to take 305 houses in stages.
Mr Manning said the first 96 would be finished in the first week of March and the next 57 three months later, with only “a handful” in each stage still for sale. The third batch of 59 homes will go on the market in a fortnight.
Describing this project as “a real winner for us,” Mr Manning said he had taken on a new role at his company, installing his accountant, Craig Stevenson, as general manager. “I’ve moved out of the premises so he can have a fair go. I’m no good at all the detail, the operational side. I’ll find new sites and look at the bigger picture,” Mr Manning said.
His other ventures this year include merging his College Property Management business with Gary McNab’s Allfields, and investing in Mr McNab’s water taxi operation, which they hope to expand into Australia.

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Commercial values slow as everything else moves on Shore

Older flats’ values fall as terraces replace them

Older “sausage-block” style flats on the North Shore have fallen slightly in value in the past 3 years, the top-end residential market may have peaked, Albany block land has increased significantly in value, but commercial land & capital values have been slow movers.

Quotable Value NZ staff explained some of the intricacies of the 3-yearly valuation, dated 1 September, to the North Shore City Council’s strategy & finance committee today.

Probably the most important factor is that land values generally have risen more than capital values (by percentage), so the value of improvements may have fallen.

The Quotable Value breakdown of values summary differs from the council’s breakdown by being broader — the council sets out all its residential zones, and has also set out both land & capital value movements by ward.

Quotable Value’s summary shows these movements:

Residential new average land value $157,963, up 6%; capital value $312,353, up 4.1%

Commercial land $205,083, up 2.1%; capital $621,813, up 5.4%

Farm (animal) land $3,435,000, up 29.9%, capital $3,575,000, up 28.3%

Farm (crop/specialist) land $791,950, up 38.5%; capital $955,950, up 30.1%

Industrial land $236,754, up 8.9%; capital $565,718, up 5.5%

Lifestyle land $495,737, up 35.6%; capital $704,806, up 22.1%

Total land, $170,808, up 6.5%; capital $364,773, up 4.6%.Business value increase examples

The council’s business property valuations were based on the achievable income (effectively, Auckland City’s annual value system). Capitalisation rates haven’t been given.

Examples of large business value increases (specific properties, precise address not stated) were:

Rosedale Rd $1.8 million, up 71.43%; another $1,385,000, up 83.44%

Fairview Ave $2.16 million, up 200%

Holder Place $1.2 million, up 125%

Home Place $3.6 million, up 125%Other business examples

Archers Rd $156,000, up 9.86%

Argus Place $225,000, up 9.76%

Arrenway Drive $345,000, up 4.55%

Bush Rd $295,000, up 9.26%

Link Drive $720,000, up 10.77%

Northcroft St $760,000, up 1.33%

Target Rd $1.8 million, up 10.77%

Wairau Rd $240,000, up 8.11%; another $90,000, down 4.26%

William Pickering Drive $720,000, up 16.13%The council also gave examples from several areas where values didn’t change:

Hurstmere Rd $122,000 and $850,000

Lake Rd $190,000 and $150,000

Milford Rd $285,000

Mokoia Rd $40,000

Victoria Rd $190,000QV highlights

The Quotable Value report cited these highlights of valuation moves:

Residential:

The North Shore market moved at varying rates, but the average sale price rose only $5000 to $310,000. Coastal values rose more than inland.

Development remained strong with a large number of new subdivisions created and record consent numbers.

The continued surge in development of terraced townhouses continued, but the Quotable Value report noted that publicity over leaky buildings could affect that market.

Residential attached flats/units (sausage blocks, referred to as RF) across the majority of inland districts have fallen slightly, or stayed at the same value. “This may be due to the fact that in some areas they have become somewhat rundown & unattractive, and also in the RF market there are now a number of newer developments in Albany competing for these types of purchasers.

“In some areas the values of the newer terraced townhouses/flats have not decreased compared to 1999 levels.”

The top end of the Auckland market — homes over $1 million — saw record sale figures. But Quotable Value said the sales volume had fallen recently “and it has been said that the market has peaked. In the North Shore specifically value levels had increased more than the overall residential average rate.”

Bare land:

Quotable Value said block land in Albany had increased significantly, mainly due to extensive new development, combined with the development of the Albany Mega Centre & Northridge Plaza.

Industrial:

In the North Harbour industrial basin, the main arterial routes (Rosedale & Paul Matthews Rds) had established themselves as prime locations. Only some secondary roads such as Parkhead Place (and an older development there) indicated a value decrease.

Wairau Valley & Barry’s Point suffered from tenant migration to Albany “but are currently showing an increase in popularity.”

Retail:

At the 130ha Albany Centre, “Westfield is proposing the 1st stage of their new mall with 90 shops in 2003.” Browns Bay, Milford & Devonport continued to function as local convenience retailing/business centres, but there had been some loss of retail presence to Albany, “but this has been offset with the growth of eateries & cafés.”

More cafés & eateries around Takapuna’s fringe, and now arising in the centre, was resulting in a decrease in retai shops along Hurstmere Rd. An increase in passing traffic had increased core capital & land values for Lake Rd’s small local suburban shops.

Offices:

The Albany Basin accounted for 60% of the city’s recent office growth and the Takapuna centre had suffered some tenant leakage to developing areas, including Smales Farm & Shea Terrace.

Commercial/industrial:

Quotable Value said continuing land development & the steady supply of business accommodation, mainly undertaken on a speculative basis, produced modest value gains as supply & demand tended towards equilibrium.

“North Shore City is home to an increasing number of businesses from industrial to high-tech office space and has some of New Zealand’s largest commercial developments. Competitively priced total occupancy costs and quality space along with a highly educated & skilled workforce have been key influences in the Shore’s growth to date.

“With a good supply of commercially zoned vacant land, mainly in the Albany area and with new developments currently under way, along with current market conditions there is an expectation of long-term sustained growth.”

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