Unlock Henderson project moves toward firm transformation proposal

Council property & development arm Panuku Development Auckland will present proposals to the Henderson-Massey Local Board tomorrow for the transformation of Henderson town centre, based on residential intensification at 3 clusters of sites.

The proposals fall under Panuku’s unlock category of centre transformation developed in 2015 – the main category for big projects, transform, is being led by plans for Onehunga & Manukau Central and work already underway in the Wynyard Quarter and under the Tamaki regeneration partnership; the unlock category covers 7 centres plus housing for the elderly; and the third category, support, covers another 8 centres.

Senior project planning leader Richard Davison, who wrote an extensive paper on how to unlock value in Henderson and transform the town centre, said the vision built on the strong foundations of Waitakere City’s eco-city & inclusive approach.

To get to this stage, Panuku has worked with both the local board & mana whenua, but the assessment which led to Henderson being listed as a transformation target in the first place wasn’t flattering. Mr Davison wrote:

“The Henderson centre is fragmented by the 2 streams & the rail corridor, impacting the connectivity from east to west and from the surrounding suburbs into the central area.

“A combination of reduced public reinvestment & maintenance, along with the poor market perception, exacerbated by local crime rates, the area’s lower socio-economic profile and a main street dominated by shopfront vacancies has acted as a deterrent for private investors & businesses to take risks in delivering new projects to the market.

“While there is a broad & general demand for residential growth, the current housing stock lacks diversity, with apartments & terraced housing difficult to justify or get off the ground in a market that has a limited appetite and a clear limit to price point.

“Thus, combined with an eroded strategic mandate, Henderson has been rendered a financially challenging development location. Therefore, Henderson was chosen as a Panuku ‘unlock’ location as a result of a council-led assessment across the region’s urban centres that had potential for urban regeneration.”

Panuku’s high level project plan is aimed at catalysing & reinvigorating “wider private development potential in central Henderson through 3 broad stages of proposed development on specific council landholdings within the project area. The plan takes a cross-council, town centre-wide view of property opportunities to potentially facilitate & enable high quality, residential-led development.”

Panuku sees opportunities for the short, medium & long term in 3 land clusters. 2 along Henderson Valley Rd are the council site (the old Waitakere City Council headquarters) and the film studios area. The third cluster is a group of surface carparks in key central & gateway locations, which Mr Davison said would create the most urban impact if developed.

Panuku seeks the local board’s endorsement of the proposed vision, the 5 principles that would guide development and the 4 goals guiding development.

Assuming effective transformation, Henderson would have high quality medium-density residential & commercial development, walking & cycling links supporting the Twin Streams pathway, public art and Henderson Valley Rd turned into a high quality, mixed-use residential corridor.

Attribution: Local board agenda.

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2 Responses to Unlock Henderson project moves toward firm transformation proposal

  1. Adam Tuesday 21 March 2017 at 7.37pm #

    It will be interesting what ‘class’ of property they build there.

    If they built a mid-upper level of townhouses/apartments there, it could potentially tip henderson in the right direction?

    But, they’ll probably build 48m2 apartments….

    • Bob Dey Tuesday 21 March 2017 at 8.58pm #

      It’s an interesting question: What do you try to change, and how? I’ll take it up in more detail.

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