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

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Building rumours 14: buildings everywhere!

There's just so much going on at the moment (not just apartments), this will have to be just a brief survey of all the building activity and proposals that I've come across.

The controversial Mt Cook Pak'n'Save is to get a competitor down the road on the corner of Adelaide Rd & John St. I don't think either of them have applied for consent yet, so we're a long way from being able to see what we're arguing about (How tall will they be? Will they have active edges?).

Potential building at 76 Willis StThis ad appeared in yesterday's Dominion Post (thanks to AdamNZ from SkyscraperCity for the scan). It shows a 95m tower at 76 Willis St, but the context of the ad suggests that this isn't a real proposal, just an indication of what a potential developer could get away with under the District Plan. I can just imagine the poor architect or illustrator asked to come up with design that does nothing more than show the financial potential of the site: "God I'm bored. I know! I'll whack a great big sail on the side - that'll wake me up!" The implication is that something is likely to get built there, but not straight away: the website is still just a placeholder (update: there's something there now, but no useful information), so there's no clues there yet. Further update: there was a detailed article in today's DomPost: SkyscraperCity has a transcription.

Speaking of transactions involving "virtual buildings", the land at 13-15 College St has been sold. This had long been earmarked as the site for an apartment development called Vivo, but that's no longer going ahead as planned. According to the article on page C6 of Tuesday's DomPost, it was bought by an anonymous local developer, who is apparently "working through a number of different schemes for the site". Given that the nearby Mitre 10 site recently sold, and that MasterTrade moved out from the site across the road, College St could still be in for some big changes. Update: according to an article about the Chaffers Dock Zarbo on page C3 of today's DomPost, Moore Wilson is taking over that MasterTrade building "to expand their operations". Sounds like good news!

There's a big splash on the front page of today's DomPost and a council news item about the redevelopment of the Overseas Passenger Terminal. These appear to be exactly the same plans that were announced over a year ago (see my post from May last year), but what makes this news is that the plans will be presented for approval at the Waterfront Development Subcommittee meeting next week. That presumably means that talks with Marina berth-holders have reached a satisfactory conclusion, and I certainly hope that a compromise has been reached that allows the Marina to operate without turning the downtown waterfront into Seaview. One downside of the interminable delay is that revenue from the commercial development is required to pay for public space improvements, meaning that according to the draft waterfront development plan (153kB PDF), Taranaki St West won't get started until 2008/09, and the Frank Kitts Park/Chinese Garden construction will be delayed until 2009/10. That makes me feel old just thinking about it.

Wellington Overseas Passenger Terminal redevelopment, selected scheme: details of northern endAt the other end of the CBD, site works appear to have begun on two long-awaited (though not universally eagerly-awaited) buildings: the Supreme Court and the corner of Featherston & Bunny streets. If the latter site is going ahead as originally planned, it could be Wellington's largest building by floor area. There have been various renderings floating around of what this might look like, none of them exactly inspiring, but there was perhaps a hint that the new Central Area rules might influence a change towards a less bulky building.

The Warehouse is movingUpdate: and the Warehouse is definitely moving to the old Big Save furniture site in the "Top of Tory" complex, so the development of the Monument & Piermont apartments on the current site won't be a complete disaster for lovers of the Red Shed (I hear there are some of you out there).


At 8:06 pm, June 21, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

www.76willisstreet.co.nz is now up, but it looks like access is restricted to developers only who are given usernames and passwords, and theres all this legal mumbo-jumbo about not disclosing any information on the website. Looks like we'll be in the dark about this for a long time. :(

At 12:10 am, June 22, 2007, Blogger Joanna said...

As someone whose sister has had an apartment in an old building on College St for the past seven or so years, and who's watched the hideous big apartment building go up across the street from Moore Wilson's, I hope that 15-16 never goes up. And not just cos of all the time we spent throwing burnt almonds off her balcony onto its roof...

At 8:45 am, June 22, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

Anon: yes, I saw that it was up just after I posted! Does anyone have any inside goss?

Jo: do you really think the Trinity apartments are hideous? I think they're quite well designed: a bit big for the context (about 6 storeys should be the norm for Te Aro), but quite crisp and with good detailing nonetheless. It's the hideous blank wall to Vivian St that I can't stand.

At 10:23 am, June 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

76willisstreet.co.nz is a clone website, have a look at

the legal pages both share the same typos, :)

I suspect the illistrations are simply to alert you to the "potential" in real estate speak,

At 4:45 pm, June 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you think moore wilsons will be expanding the 'fresh' side?

it seems to be pretty consistently full most weekends.

At 10:36 am, July 04, 2007, Blogger Delta Bannerman said...

I always feel I'm getting in peoples' way at MW Fresh. I hope they expand it (and improve their queuing strategy).


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