Formal expressions of interest are now open for transformational developers to partner with council organisation Panuku Development Auckland to deliver a high-quality mixed-use precinct in central Takapuna
Currently known as the Anzac Street carpark, about 6,000 sqm of land will be made available from mid-2020 for commercial, residential and retail development behind the main street shops on Hurstmere Road and alongside Berkeley Cinema.
Key to the success of the ‘Unlock Takapuna’ project will be a new town square earmarked for part of the site which Panuku will deliver with a budget of $7 million.
Takapuna Beach Business Association chief executive, Terence Harpur, says the future of the Anzac Street carpark has been a point of contention in recent years. However with council changing the carpark’s planning designation last year for a more people-orientated future, the urban regeneration project enjoys strong local and business support according to surveys.
“For anyone concerned about the loss of carparks, less than 200 metres away Panuku is now building the multi-level Gasometer carpark building on Huron Street for 420 cars. What’s more, let’s not forget that the Unitary Plan requires one carparking space for every 30sqm of retail development, so the new development will come with some car parks.
“The development will also enable the upgrade of the bus interchange on Lake Road, upgrades to Huron and Northcroft Streets and most importantly a new 3,000sqm town square which will dramatically increase and improve Takapuna’s public open space,” says Mr Harpur.
“Town centres are all about people and our town square will provide a central place to congregate – something we’ve probably always lacked in Takapuna. Its draft design is expected to go out for public consultation in July, and we’ll be encouraging everyone to have their say. We want our town square to be the best in the country.”
Takapuna’s new town square will also provide a key link to Hurstmere Road. To ensure this an old shop on the main street was bought and recently demolished, with Rangitoto now visible from Shore City Shopping Centre.
“With 38 Hurstmere Road demolished to form part of the town square, it will really help to re-orientate Takapuna and give it a bigger heart. In recent years new development has made more of the beach, but this project will create a whole new east-west flow, better linking the likes of Shore City Shopping Centre to the main street and ultimately the beach.”
Key to improving the pedestrian environment is the upgrade of Hurstmere Road currently in detailed design. As well as much-needed improvements to the streetscaping, Auckland Transport’s work will aim to prioritise space for pedestrians and reduce vehicle traffic. The main street will become one-way – from south to north, its angle parking will be replaced with parallel parking, and there’ll be a drop-off only zone on the beach side of the road.
“The upgrade of Hurstmere Road has long been talked about and lobbied for. However we’re hoping towards the end of this year construction will be well underway.”
An exciting aspect of the Hurstmere Road upgrade is the fact that once it’s completed, all water run-off will be treated with rain gardens installed to catch contaminants. This will be a massive improvement on what flows into Takapuna Beach during normal weather events.
The Auckland Plan identifies Takapuna as one of 10 metropolitan centres with sub-regional catchments and where significant change is expected during the next 30-plus years. These centres are identified for growth and intensification. The Unitary Plan’s ‘Business – Metropolitan Centre Zone’ allows for high-rise buildings and contains retail and commercial ‘frontage control’ provisions.
Mr Harpur says it makes perfect sense for central Takapuna to be zoned a Metropolitan Centre as it has good public transport links, employment, and is well placed to carry the wider area’s future commercial growth and development.
He says the Panuku-led project will likely see private-sector development range from four to nine stories, with any tall buildings aesthetically stepped back.
“We’d like to see retail on the ground floor, along with some al fresco dining spilling out. There’ll be commercial above which will be great as high-quality office space is something Takapuna is really crying out for. No doubt there’ll also be a residential component.
“We’re currently seeing apartment complexes going up on the fringe of central Takapuna, with more than 400 individual apartments coming to market. The prospect of also having high quality apartments right in our town centre will be welcomed by our retailers and hospitality operators.”
Mr Harpur says now is the time for businesses, investors and developers to consider commercial opportunities in Takapuna as the area is only going to become more sought-after. He points to Panuku having great form when it comes to unlocking and transforming areas, with Wynyard Quarter the best example.
“The same team at Panuku that worked on Wynyard Quarter is now working on Takapuna, with the success of that model set to be replicated here. The fact that Panuku is leading the charge in a significant way has already led to a surge of private sector activity in anticipation.
“We’re seeing old buildings getting upgraded, developers creating new spaces to attract even more eateries, commercial property prices rise, and a general increase in buoyancy and business confidence in Takapuna’s future. And that’s before our new central precinct has even been constructed,” says Terence Harpur.
Panuku Development Auckland manages about $2 billion of land and buildings owned by the Auckland Council.
Its role is to facilitate and rejuvenate parts of the city – from small projects that refresh a site or building, to major transformations of town centres or neighbourhoods.
Its mandate is to “understand the communities in which we work” and identify development opportunities, plan and prepare the ground to attract private investment.
Takapuna Beach Business Association