Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Building rumours: 9-13 Stout St

I haven't heard any more information about the Wakefield St car yard that I mentioned in my last building rumours post, and given that the cars are still there (plus a carwash!) I suspect that nothing is going to happen just yet. However, I've recently heard a rumour about another site that could have a significant impact on the city.

An architect from a major firm suggested that an office building of at least 20 storeys is planned for 9-13 Stout St, currently the site of a multi-storey carpark on the corner with Ballance St.

Site of a rumoured 20+ storey office block at 9-13 Stout St, WellingtonThis could be a contentious site, given that the owners were refused resource consent for a billboard on the existing building, on the grounds that the "visual clutter" would be out of character with an area that includes important public buildings such as the new Supreme Court. Much of the site is also in the part of the new Stout St heritage area (2.2MB PDF) that under the central area review will have a height limit of 30m rather than the current 75m: maybe that explains why the developers are planning it now? Depending upon the stud heights, a 20-storey building could fit under the 75m limit and thus not be notified.

Personally, I don't think it's a bad thing. As the photo above shows, there's quite a range of tall buildings in the area, and by housing some more workers between Lambton Quay and the railway station it could help fill in the gap between the core CBD and Harbour Quays. As long as it steps down toward the Supreme Court and Missions to Seamen ends of the site, rather than simply extruding the site plan all the way to the height limit, it could fit into the streetscape quite satisfactorily. But all this is speculation anyway: does anyone have any more concrete information?


At 2:28 pm, November 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know anything about stout street, but according to the NBR this morning, the devlopment of the "watermark" on the Rialto/Wakefield Market site is all go,

Although with "residences" starting at $2m and going to $11m I think that they may find some resistance, it also intends to house a hotel (although I suspect they will offer the rooms as unit titles for "investors").

Will be interesting to watch, given that Foodstuffs have said they intend to "redevelop" the Mr Chans site,(after turning it into an off license for a couple of years) and I would bet dollars to donuts it involves Apartments,

At 2:58 pm, November 03, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Many thanks for the tip. $2-11m! Wow! I think the previous record for Wellington was $3m, so they must be very confident.

From what the NBR article and website say, it's the John Chambers (old Rialto) building that's set to become a boutique hotel. I actually like the fact that they've gone higher than the district plan allows for parts of the building but kept it lower for others. Can you imagine something going blindly up to eight floors over the whole site? Shudder. The proposal as it is creates a whole lot of interesting steps, slopes and twists, while retaining the integrity of the Chambers building.

And I've heard another anonymous confirmation of the Stout St building. Apparently it's looking fairly ugly.


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