Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


More Tall Buildings Predicted

By Simon Collins

WELLINGTON can expect three or four new "tall buildings" in the next five years, says Mayor Mark Blumsky

He told a Lambton Ward meeting on 15 Feb that a 23-storey tower planned for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Lambton Quay was not an isolated instance

Residents at the meeting complained that the Foreign Affairs building got planning consent without public notification

The building is now being funded through a public float to investors, managed by FR Partners

"I'm aware of two others that are being planned now," Blumsky told the meeting

"I think we'll see three or four other tall buildings coming up. It's been interesting the way the market has changed regarding the demand for quality office space. There is a hotel also that is having a look.”

Melrose resident John Warren told the meeting he would have objected to the Foreign Affairs building if it had been notified because he believed such tall buildings should be stepped back from the road, as other buildings are along Lambton Quay

"My feeling is that there would be a crowding effect [if buildings rise directly from the street]," he said

Oriental Bay Residents' Association president Roger Newport said: "At one time it was the policy of council that when a development was going to happen, the neighbours were told about it. Now no one knows about it until the bulldozers arrive.”

Wadestown Residents' Association president John Shrapnell said the Foreign Affairs building didn't fit the District Plan rules

Senior council manager Derek Fry confirmed that a liftwell on the building will be more than nine metres above the height limit

In approving this, he said, officers took account of the fact that the development would preserve the facades of Lambton Quay's historic Harcourts Building and Hamilton Chambers

Mark Blumsky said the developers originally wanted to demolish these buildings and put up a two-tiered structure with the tower set back from the street. The council persuaded them to preserve the historic facades instead

He told City Voice later that developers who had been to see him in the past eight months about new building projects were proposing both office towers and hotels. One was as big as the Foreign Affairs tower, and the others were smaller. One building was going up next to Kelvin Chambers on The Terrace

"I believe they will seriously get off the ground. I think it's a good, healthy sign," he said

All the proposals were for different sites. Two were from overseas developers, two from Auckland and one from a local developer

The chief executive of Capital Properties and chair of the local Property Council, Nick Wevers, said his company was not planning any new buildings

"Personally I would be surprised if there is a demand for several new buildings in Wellington in the next few years," he said

However, there is speculation about the empty site opposite the Railway Station in Bunny St, which was bought recently by Waltus Investments and an Auckland developer who recently built the New York-style Metropolis apartments in Auckland

Deputy Mayor Kerry Prendergast says there is also interest in the former Circa Theatre site next to Civic Square for a hotel. The council's finance and corporate committee will decide on 27 March whether to sell this site, which is currently grassed

Cr Mary Varnham says the site should not be sold because it is "part of Civic Square" and there are "a lot of potential public uses for it”

"There is a complete mania for asset sales on this council… It's an ideological thing.”

Kerry Prendergast says a hotel on the site would give the square "the vital element of 24-hour activity", and would also help to pay for public space development on the waterfront

• Circa site submissions: Shaun Gadsby, 801 3767. top top

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news