Major downtown office-block owner AMP NZ Office Ltd has presented the Auckland Council with an idea to extend the Takutai Square link along between Quay & Customs St west to the Viaduct Basin.
The company put its proposal in a submission on the council’s city centre masterplan.
It’s partly a matter of self-preservation – the notion that opening up new intensive development areas around stations on the proposed city rail loop at Wellesley St, Karangahape Rd & Newton Rd, as a way of giving the stations critical mass, might work for those areas away from the core cbd but would inevitably detract from the downtown area as a business focus.
On that score, AMP Office chief executive Scott Pritchard said in the submission: “The engine room has existing capacity – both vacant space & sites – suitable for future development. Even as Auckland gropws, we see the engine room as having good capacity to meet demand for premium office space for 15-20 years in highrise cbd office buildings which have for decades been, and remain, the proven & predominant city centre business mode.
“The benefits of co-location, density & shared amenity are more practically & efficiently delivered through intensive highrise form. By comparison, fringe-city mid- or lowrise developments undermine these fundamental aspects, and therefore detract from the intensity & energy that the engine room concept requires.”
Mr Pritchard said very few of the most recent large projects for top-200 business head offices had taken place in this engine room: “This raises a risk of dispersing the critical mass required to underpin the concept.”
AMP Office has told the council the opportunity exists, through aligned design, to extend the Te Ara Tahuhu axis from Britomart comprehensively through to the west as far as the Viaduct and a future Lower Hobson Plaza.
“This mixed-use pedestrian axis would thread through and fully open up these blocks in support of the north-south stitch and Quay St Boulevard, and would more fully connect the major office, transport & retail amenity in this critical area for transport & economic development.”
The AMP Office submission also proposed extending Federal St down to Quay St “as a pedestrian lane to meet the water”.
Want to comment? Go to the forum.
Attribution: AMP Office submission, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.