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  • CBD News & Trends

    From "Draft Long-Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) 2009-19":

    The increasing number of visits to Auckland illustrates the growing importance of passenger shipping in Australasia and underscores the need for Auckland to find ways to become more cruise friendly. This is particularly important in light of the trend for ships to reach up to 320 metres long and carry more than 3000 passengers and crew. "We know the facilities at Princes Wharf are reaching capacity and the temporary facilities at Queens Wharf are inadequate," says Auckland Regional Council (ARC) Chairman Mike Lee.
    "A report prepared by Covec for the Government last year tells us that if Auckland committed to a new cruise ship terminal on Queens Wharf, then key cruise operators would be likely to deploy more ships to the region, potentially generating another $713 million over the next 10 years."
    If Queens Wharf is transformed into a cruise terminal and open to the public, that will draw crowd to the waterfront and present retail opportunities.

    Source: http://www.arc.govt.nz/albany/fms/ma...ion%20Wide.pdf

  • #2
    Up and coming entertainment area

    From SEA+CITY Newsletter:

    The completion of Auckland City Council's Marine Events Centre on Halsey Street Extension Wharf was recently brought forward. It will now be finished in time for the Rugby World Cup 2011. The Marine Events Centre will help to activate the eastern end of Jellicoe Street, which includes the retail and entertainment area on North Wharf. The Marine Events Centre is already through preliminary design phases Marine Events Centre brought forward and has been endorsed by the Urban Design Panel. Its resource consent application will be lodged later this month. Te Wero Bridge, which will provide walking and cycling access between the Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter, has been deferred until 2016. In the interim, a budget of $1m will be allocated to contribute to an interim solution across this connection until the bridge is completed.
    Jellicoe Street, Halsey Street, and the extension wharf are gradually forming an entertainment area. The Rugby World Cup may be the catalyst to bring in such big change.

    Source: http://www.seacity.co.nz/newslettermarch2009web.htm#4


    • #3
      Powerful port in a waterfront storm

      Much of the waterfront from Westhaven to Princes Wharf has opened up in the past 20 years with walkways, parks, cafes and bars, but the most-prized area, the city basin at the foot of Queen St, has proved the most elusive. Bob Harvey, the outgoing Mayor of Waitakere, says: "Bizarrely, you can't even see the sea from Queen St, and the ocean is 50 metres away." The move to a single Auckland council offers the tantalising prospect that the port could be brought to heel.
      The waterfront is both a shop window to the city and a gateway to its prime asset: the harbour and gulf. While Aucklanders feel a sense of connection, making the best of the harbour location has always loomed large in plans to become an international city, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. For what can be done, look no further than Sydney, Vancouver in Canada and, er, Wellington.
      Swney points to Vancouver Harbour, where a strikingly designed convention centre doubles as a cruise ship terminal. It generates $1 billion a year. He is promoting an alternative future for Bledisloe Wharf - one with a multi-purpose facility such as Vancouver's or a similar iconic building housing, say, an arts or cultural centre.
      Under present plans, the port says it could vacate Queen's Wharf within 18 months of someone agreeing to buy it, and a working party is looking at options for the wharf. That could happen in 2011, but plans to use the wharf for public events during the Rugby World Cup appear to have stalled. It's earmarked for a new cruise ship terminal as well as public activities.
      Banks is certainly keen on the Bledisloe site. An international convention centre would be key to attracting a six-star hotel to Auckland, he says.
      Madsen says if a proposal to put Bledisloe West to an alternative use, such as a convention centre, did emerge the port would consider it. "Right now it would cause some complications but we would definitely study it.

      "Once we have released Captain Cook Wharf then what we have left will be about 1.3 km in length which is a fairly compressed area even with new technology."

      But Madsen and port infrastructure general manager Ben Chrystall rule nothing out. Capacity can be boosted, not just through reclamation (although the long-term plan to fill-in the port between Fergusson and Bledisloe suggests otherwise). The port is ushering in new technology and despatch systems and greater use of rail to move containers on and off the wharves quicker. Automated stackers which pile containers seven-high will be introduced in about five years.

      The trade-off for releasing Bledisloe West may be higher container stacks for Quay St motorists and Parnell apartment dwellers to watch rise and fall.

      But the city basin might finally be the people's waterfront.
      I believe more and more of the waterfront will be opening up. The west end of the waterfront is certain; the future of Wynyard Quarter (Tank Farm) is quite clear but development will be delayed due to lack of money. In the east end, development of Queen's Wharf is possible (due to pressure from high traffic of cruise ships). Bledisloe Wharf is most challenging because of strong opposition from the port company.

      There may be opportunities in buying properties in these areas, but be aware that all of the land is leasehold and so ground rent will be an important issue that should not be overlooked.

      Large reclamation in the east end will continue as compensation for the port company's giving up Queen's Wharf etc.

      An implication is living in an apartment facing the east end of the waterfront will be very unpleasant (noise, scenery) because of the 24-hour port activities and high stacks of containers.

      Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...0566122&pnum=0


      • #4
        More on Wynyard Wharf (Tank Farm)

        The NZ Transport Agency said the preferred option would be made up of underground motorway and rail tunnels, to complement the existing Harbour Bridge.

        The twin motorway tunnels would have three northbound and three southbound lanes. From the Central Motorway Junction, the tunnels would go underground at Victoria Park, underneath the harbour and resurface just south of the Onewa Rd interchange.

        There would be upgraded connections at Onewa Rd and Esmonde Rd. The local road network in the area would also be upgraded to remove potential bottlenecks.

        The proposed rail tunnels (what a good idea) would have one northbound and one southbound track. There would be a new underground station in Gaunt St, between Daldy and Halsey Sts, and this would link with a future CBD loop tunnel.
        Building a station there will bring more people to Wynyard Wharf (Tank Farm).

        Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/auckland-r...ectid=10568047


        • #5
          Antipodean Apartments OKed

          Developers have won a six-year fight to build a 39-storey apartment tower next to the historic St James Theatre on Auckland's Queen St.

          Antipodean Apartments is among several high-rise buildings planned for inner city Auckland, including the 232m Elliott Tower and 144m Saffron Apartments, both on Albert St.

          The project was approved by independent commissioners for Auckland City Council this month after the High Court quashed the first consent granted in 2003.

          Developer Paul Doole said he couldn't comment on a start date for construction, adding he was reassessing his original plans in light of the recession.
          The apartment block will be built alongside the heritage-protected theatre, requiring demolition of the disused Odeon, Westend and Regent cinemas.

          About two-thirds of the 332 apartments will be one-bedroom units sized between 41 and 49sq m with a balcony.

          Under district plan rules, one-bedroom apartments in the city must be at least 45sq m, but the balcony can be included in the floor space.
          The increase in resident population will contribute to the growth of the Aotea entertainment precinct. However, I feel the economic downturn may delay this project.

          Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/new-zealan...ectid=10568654


          • #6
            Alex Swney: Restructuring is time to - carefully - plan port's future

            There's been a suggestion of "quick hits with immediate impacts" for the new Super City mayor. A "quite cheap option" of a cruise ship terminal and convention/exhibition facilities have been cited as examples.

            The drums are beating about doing something on the central finger wharves in time for the Rugby World Cup. What a mistake that could be.

            The previous Government made the same mistake with their proposed stadium by not sorting out port issues first. Their suggestion of a stadium spanning the centre of the central wharves was a fatally flawed compromise that Aucklanders were not willing to accept.
            If a significant chunk of the growth of our imports and exports can be economically accommodated by Tauranga and North Ports, and the Auckland port size controlled to a limited area in the east, then Bledisloe terminal could be used to bookend a vibrant people's CBD waterfront and establish higher value tourism opportunities - a museum of modern art, a cruise ship terminal or convention centre are a few of many options for the CBD waterfront and economy.
            The Heart of the City business organisation wants the Bledisloe terminal be opened to the general public, which also implies opening up Queen's Wharf, Captain Cook Wharf, and Marsden Wharf.

            Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...ectid=10568741


            • #7
              Another leaky building in CBD

              Leaky problems can surface even 20 years after a building is developed, as evidenced by the recent discovery of water issues in Fonterra global headquarters building on 9 Princes Street.

              AMP owns the 12-level building which was put up by a Fletcher business with Argus Questar between 1988 and 1990 and incorporated the Grand Hotel's facade.

              Stephen Costley, general manager of AMP Property Portfolio, said this week the tower was being renovated for $4 million. "This building was constructed some time ago and has over a period of time had some issues with water coming in around windows."

              Lower-level floors also had a stone or granite cladding not thick enough to stop water penetrating, he said. But the existence of a cavity wall system meant water did not come directly into the interior from the walls but ran down the back of the stone.

              The new cladding being installed would resolve this problem.

              Fonterra rents most of the building which AMP had initially hoped to fix from the inside, expecting to be able to move tenants between floors, but Mr Costley said Fonterra expanded and no room was spare.

              "So we changed our work method to get to the outside of the building and leave existing windows in place but put the new membrane over them," he said. New membrane and flashings along the balustrades of decks in the upper levels were being installed to meet building standards, he said.
              Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/n...ectid=10570141


              • #8
                Yeah I saw that. Only $4 mill to fix! New windows over the old ones! Crikey!

                Squadly dinky do!


                • #9
                  Shared office may be getting popular

                  Recently I've seen quite of number of ads wanting to share office. For example, look at this office in the ANZ Building at 203 Queen Street.
                  The space is in a fully refurbished building and has individual offices available as well as shared facilities of four meeting rooms, a boardroom (as pictured) and two kitchens. A shared receptionist option is available but there is space for another receptionist at the existing desk. Secretarial support can be provided at an agreed additional cost if required.
                  It looks like shared office may be a trend for a while, as companies are down sizing and cutting expenses.

                  Buying a vacant office in CBD and then trying to rent it out can be a big challenge these days.

                  Source: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/List...x?id=216769149


                  • #10
                    NZI Centre completed

                    An insurance giant will soon move more than 700 staff into a new environmentally advanced Auckland building where Seamart once stood.

                    The glass-clad office block at 1 Fanshawe St has been developed by Newcrest Group for IAG New Zealand and many of its brands.
                    Perhaps it is related to the large amount of vacant office space (totaling about 18,000 sqm) advertised for lease of the IAG Building at 151 Queen Street, in February this year. Renting out this much of space at about $420/sqm in this market where many companies are downsizing is a real challenge.

                    Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/commercial...ectid=10570556


                    • #11
                      Investors say trust should be selling

                      Analysts and investors were yesterday shocked at AMP NZ Office Trust's $201 million call for cash, saying the listed landlord should have sold some buildings before raising new money
                      Tyson said the trust's gearing levels were about to increase from 28 per cent to 35 per cent due to building devaluations but this would still have been well within trust deed covenants of 40 per cent. "We could have lived with 35 per cent. It would still have been very low."
                      In a report headlined "A cannon to the head," they said the money was needed to shore up the balance sheet ahead of big trouble from building devaluations and declining rent roll as vacancies rise. The call for $201 million had taken the market by surprise, they said. One of the trust's few fans was market commentator and investment expert Arthur Lim who said the trust had made a sensible move.
                      "He's feeling bruised but he's wrong about selling assets," Lang said, saying market demand was in the sub-$20 million range.
                      AMP NZ Office Trust owns PWC Tower, ANZ Centre, IAG House, AMP Centre, and the new building on 21 Queen Street, in the Auckland CBD. I have seen many vacant offices from these buildings, so the decreased rental income must be hurting AMP. I do not know if any office unit in the new AMP building has been leased. Anybody has any news on that?

                      Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/commercial...0571314&pnum=0


                      • #12
                        City Rail Loop

                        Auckland City Council has released a Memorandum of Understanding to outline plan for a City Rail Loop.

                        Plans for a CBD rail tunnel in Auckland have been discussed since the 1920s. With traffic congestion rating as one of the most significant issues facing the Auckland region, the need for improved public transport infrastructure has never been greater. A rail link between Britomart rail station and Mount Eden has been identified by Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) and New Zealand Railways Corporation (ONTRACK) as being critical to alleviating traffic congestion in the region. Over the past 18 months, both organisations have put considerable resources into planning for what is referred to as the “CBD rail link”. Council officers have also had some involvement in this process. ONTRACK has indicated a strong desire to designate the route for the CBD rail link in the council’s District Plan.
                        The memorandum of understanding does not, in any way, commit the council to funding the planning, design or construction of the CBD rail link, nor does it compromise the council’s regulatory role in assessing the proposed “notice of requirement”.
                        Of most interest is the planned route diagram on page 6 of the report. The loop will extend from Britomart to travel up Albert Street, with stations at the Wellesley St and K-Road intersections. There's still plenty of time to buy up properties around these two stations, if you believe the two stations will bring in crowds.

                        Note, however, the council has not commited to any funding plan, so it may still be years before we can actually see the train.

                        Source: http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/coun...-AGD-%2314.pdf


                        • #13
                          Shared streets in CBD

                          An exciting facelift is being considered for a number of streets in Auckland's city centre with the proposed introduction of shared space as part of the council's CBD streetscapes and open spaces upgrade programme.

                          A new concept in Auckland, shared space has been successfully implemented overseas, including in New York, Brighton, Copenhagen and Brisbane, and is considered to be at the forefront of international urban design best practice.

                          Shared spaces provide equal priority to pedestrians and traffic by having continuous paving across an entire street and removing kerbs, the traditional distinction between the footpath and road.
                          Identified projects where shared space can potentially be introduced include:
                          • Fort Street area
                          • Elliot and Darby Streets
                          • Lorne Street (Library precinct)
                          • O'Connell Street

                          Public consultation on the draft concept designs for the Fort Street area upgrade, Elliott and Darby Streets and Lorne Street (Library precinct) will take place later this year.
                          This concept has been around for decades in Auckland; only the name "shared space" is new. It is a definite trend as more and more people choose to live in CBD apartments.

                          Source: http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/news...s/20090513.asp


                          • #14
                            Britomart precinct shaping up to draw in crowd

                            Another makeover is finished and a new bar will be opening soon. I can see this area in the waterfront gradually being transformed to attract people to work, shop, and entertain there. The former Wharf Police Station makeover is just another step towards revitalizing the once rundown area.

                            The historic former Wharf Police Station on Auckland's waterfront opens next Friday as a bar after a $1 million makeover.
                            Brew on Quay will operate from the old building, preserved as part of the $1 billion Britomart precinct.
                            Peter Cooper's Cooper & Company is restoring the buildings in the precinct, apart from the station, which Phillimore Properties owns.
                            WHARF POLICE STATION
                            * Part of the Britomart precinct.
                            * On the corner of Quay St and Britomart Place.
                            * Built during 1903 and 1904.
                            * Land owned by Auckland City.
                            * New bar will open next week.
                            Source: Former cop shop is the best bar none


                            • #15
                              Motor bike race right in Britomart precinct?

                              According to this week's CityScene:
                              Catch more than 50 of the best Off-Road Enduro riders from New Zealand and around the world when they come to Auckland for the Red Bull City Scramble. Although this sport is normally reserved for remote rural locations, this time it will be held in an urban environment at Britomart. Expect some intense racing with all the normal obstacles like logs, rocks and waters, plus a few elements never seen before - designed to test rider and machine to their limits.
                              More and more events like this will definitely draw people to CBD and make commercial property investment in this area very lucrative.

                              For more information, see: http://www.redbullcityscramble.co.nz/