Just over two years ago, construction of a new car park building for Takapuna got underway. Now, the new car park, at the gasometer site on the corner of Huron, Northcroft and Auburn streets, is almost complete.
It stands at five storeys with a distinctive, metallic gold lattice pattern inspired by the structure of the former gas storage chamber that once stood on the site. The building will open to the public at the beginning of November, under the management of Auckland Transport.
The building will provide 420 short-stay car parks to replace the 250 parks at 40 Anzac Street, which is planned to be transformed into a new town square, shops, eateries, businesses and homes.
The car park will also provide 90 bike parks, changing rooms and electric bike charging facilities. It is a strategic piece of Takapuna’s future landscape, in which transport and regeneration connect to facilitate the growth and prosperity of a town centre.
Its build helps realise a future vision for Takapuna as a thriving town centre in which the beach, shops and amenities are close to hand, with high quality housing and people-friendly spaces.
Relocating car parking from the middle of the town centre to the perimeter (200m, a 3-5 minute walk) will support economic activity in the town centre by creating more spaces for people, events, markets and outdoor dining. An example of this is seen in Auckland’s Fort Street which saw a 429% increase in hospitality spend, and a 47% increase in retail spend from prioritising pedestrians over vehicles.
The new facility is close to the bus stops on Lake Road. Further car parking at the Killarney Street car park will create choice for those coming into Takapuna to park closer to their destination, be it the beach, Hurstmere Road, or elsewhere.
The journey from the gasometer car park to the town centre is another important part of the overall vision for Takapuna. A series of temporary interventions co-designed with the local community will be implemented over summer to test and trial improvements to the walking connections and street environment, with a view to install permanent improvements.
As for the remainder of the 6,000 sqm gasometer site (the car park accounts for 2,500 sqm), this will eventually become a high-quality blend of shops, businesses or homes that will assist in the town centre’s future growth.
Terence Harpur, CEO of Takapuna Beach Business Association, welcomes the opening of the new car park in time for increased retail activity, summer, and the America’s Cup.
“Despite the pandemic outbreak, Takapuna’s development projects are achieving exciting momentum. The new car park building, along with improvements to Hurstmere Road already seen in the larger footpaths and kerb lines, new pedestrian crossings, stone walls, seating and lights will create a strong retail environment, more al fresco dining, and an area centred around pedestrians.”
While there have been some growing pains for residents and businesses along the way – cones, traffic diversions and the laying of new pipes around the gasometer site – this progress will ensure Takapuna is ready to accommodate rapid growth and seize future opportunities.