In Buckle St yesterday, I noticed that the service station near the corner with Tory St was undergoing what is either some very heavy refurbishment or complete demolition. The fact that the petrol tanks were being dug up makes me suspect the latter.
While this may be nothing significant, I can't help wondering whether this might be the first steps towards creating a park here. The "Te Aro Corridor" Appendix (1MB PDF) of the Central Area Review says that "it is intended to establish a linear park space directly opposite the War Memorial." While the map of this proposed park is intentionally sketchy, by superimposing it on an aerial photo you can get some idea of the space it would use:
I don't think that this is will quite become the urban public space that I think upper Te Aro needs. It'll be dominated by the adjacent traffic, it's unlikely to develop an active built edge any time soon, and it's on the fringe of the urban area rather than forming the heart of an evolving neighbourhood. However, it's certainly a better use of the urban fabric than the current jumble of sheds and asphalt, and the main rationale for having a park here seems to be to maintain a clear view of and to provide a suitably formal backdrop for the War Memorial. It may even get a reasonable amount of use, since it's between Massey University and Mt Cook School, but it's too far from the emerging population centre of SoCo to provide the sort of quality public space required there.
Update: as I say in my latest comment, it looks like the use of this land for a National War Memorial Park is imminent.