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looks absolutely awful.

Cheap painted concrete block render, cheap glass awning. One storey.
On Queen Street . Disgraceful. I'm overseas these days but I can't think of any one-storey buildings on Queen Street.

You know it's going to be bad when the 'artistic rendering' - inevitably more enticing than the real thing will be - shows what appear to be tiny little shops and a nasty internal foodcourt. You can just imagine the kind of crappy tenants this will draw, right over the road from the Town Hall. Hell - they have so little to promote here, that the website says the building will have wifi (wow!!!).

Who are Conrad and what have they done before? Who benefits from this development, apart from the developer?

I apologise if this sounds like a bit of an overreaction, but this kind of cheap, quick buck development drives me nuts, especially on sites with so much potential.

I personally think it's time the Council implemented a development policy similar to that in Sydney - where, if a developer comes to the council without and award-winning architect in involved, he won't get the time of day.
 

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I can't say I'm impressed by the looks of this - the only saving grace may be that the rents are so high the quality of tenant may be higher. But I agree that these guys have thrust some of the worst buildings upon Auckland and because of their multi-title ownership I don't think we'll ever see the back of Zest or Harvard - two buildings which are absolute shockers.
 

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Great news...

Now all we need is that downtown department store.....

Big supermarket planned for Auckland's CBD
By Anne Gibson 11:25 AM Tuesday Jan 25, 2011



A huge new Auckland CBD supermarket is being planned.

NZX listed landlord Kermadec Property Fund and supermarket giant Progressive Enterprises are planning to bring a Countdown to the city.

Kermadec owns the Finance Centre on Albert St.

Before Christmas, Kermadec said it has executed two big lease agreements at its largest property, the Finance Centre in Auckland's CBD.

"General Distributors Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Progressive Enterprises Limited has signed a new 12 year lease over circa 2100 square metres of retail area, from which it will operate a "Countdown Metro" inner-city supermarket.

The lease includes a base rent plus an additional turnover rent component.

Due to the extensive fit-out requirements of the tenant, lease commencement is anticipated to be August 2011.

The lease remains conditional only on obtaining the necessary council consents relating to the fit-out works.

"The company has also entered into a new 8 year lease with an established restaurant operator, over 632 square metres of lettable area.

The new fit-out will comprise two restaurant concepts plus some adjoining offices.

Commencement date will be 1 May 2011.

"This leasing will increase Kermadec's portfolio occupancy from 86 per cent to 92 per cent, and increase the portfolio weighted average lease expiry (WALE) from 4.9 to 5.7 years.

The leases will have a positive impact on earnings from the second half of the financial year ended 31 March 2012.

"Kermadec has also confirmed renewal of its banking facility with ASB for a further 4 year term from June 2011," the NZX was told.

By Anne Gibson | Email Anne
 

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AN UNSEEMLY AND UNNECESSARY ROW



Auckland City has just invested $70 million in upgrading its art gallery.
One major approach to new building is through the narrow gutted Khartoum Place - never a cheerful piece of urban design and one made less cheerful by a water feature that attracts more rubbish than inspired passers-by.
The whole is dominated by a tiled mural commemorating the centenary of women's suffrage in New Zealand.
The work is not great. It is barely adequate for the great cause it commemorates. Its aesthetic can best been described as 1980's cut and paste graphic design. But it has its powerful supporters who have taken to describing it in terms of some sacred and inviable monument. Successive mayors have latched on to their defense as an easy and popular cause.
The current mayor, Len Brown, has joined their ranks adding its protection to his list of 100 things he is going to achieve. (It seems odd to claim credit for something that will require no thought and nil effort on his part.)
While the mural remains in its current site, a grand urban design opportunity is lost.
To open up the stairway and remove the water feature will radically improve the whole area both physically and visually.
Defenders of the mural say it cannot be moved.
Expert opinion says it can.
After all if Transit New Zealand can move an entire heritage hotel, the Rob Roy, without disturbing a brick, it should not be beyond the wit or skill of Auckland City to move a few hundred ceramic tiles.
There is a simple resolution.
Khartoum Place commemorates the lifting of a siege in Sudan in 1885. A British Imperial adventure which not only had nothing at all to do with us, but when invited to contribute troops, we staunchly refused to do so.
Rename the place Kate Sheppard Place or Suffrage Place.
Rebuild the stairs to open up the entrance to the gallery.
Re-site the mural.
Commission a major sculpture by a woman sculpture, and we have more than a few up to that job, which will commemorate Suffrage and the brave women who fought for it in a way the greatness of what they did deserves.
Surely this would be a win for the Suffrage Movement, Urban Design, the rate and tax payers who have contributed $70 million on a grand new gallery, and public art.
This would seem to be just the kind of inclusive resolution we were promised by the mayor when he campaigned for his job and the mandate the population gave him.
Just doing nothing is a wimpish way to add to a list of 100 achievements.
Talk around Mayor Brown and do something major for this blighted part of town.

http://oneaucklandcity.blogspot.com/2011/01/unseemly-and-unnecessary-row.html

Agreed :cheers:

So much potential in that area. Just a shame theres a tacky mural coming in the way of a nice spruce up of this part of town.
 

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http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10701346




The owners of La Zeppa restaurant, the new Snapdragon in the Viaduct and The Matterhorn and Foxglove in Wellington are developing plans to open two new restaurants, which will have access from Fort Lane. The Queen's Theatre space will become a bar/bistro and the former Roxy Theatre will be a full service restaurant. Both spaces will have new mezzanine floors.
Another significant aspect of the development is a new pedestrian lane extending from Queen St through to Fort Lane, which is also getting a makeover under the Auckland City Council's new shared space programme - an urban design concept that aims to combine rather than separate the functions of a street.
The Fort Lane shared space design includes improved street lighting on building facades to create a safer environment, the removal of "street furniture", neon art work running along the lane and new paving.

The new lane from Queen St runs at ground level through the existing building, ramping down to a wider lane space at the Fort St end where it will be lit by "light chimneys" - voids descending through three levels from the top floor Boatshed room. The building also has a substantial basement area which, when it is waterproofed from the harbour's rising tides, will have access from the new Imperial Lane and Fort Lane.

What's unusual about the development is that, although the buildings have heritage protection on their Queen St frontage, it doesn't extend to the rear of the buildings which push through to Fort Lane. If it had wanted to, Phillimore could have demolished the rear site and put up a high-rise to match the glass and concrete ugliness that defines Auckland's CBD.
 

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^^

I was quite involved with the development of this project until recently. It's going to be a real winner.

100% agree with Hamish Keith's opinion above regarding Khartoum Place. Such a shame to have a grand cultural building open onto a piddly little set of steps. Full credit, however, to whoever had the foresight in the Council to stage the development of Khartoum Place a couple of years back, and renovate the lower half only, meaning that the opportunity is not yet lost.
 
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