The news Last week that the Ghuznee St development “Ink” is to go ahead but without the accompanying New World mini-supermarket is probably a good thing. It has taken a long time to resolve itself though, with negotiations taking place over the last few years, and various proposals for different schemes in different forms. At last, it sounds as though things may actually proceed.
I’m not sure though, why this particular site has been proving so problematic. The Ghuznee / Leeds St site has a rich vein of history, I’m sure, and sits in prime position in the Te Aro / Cuba area. It links in the pedestrian traffic from the Leeds / Hannah’s walkway, and the vehicular traffic frantically squeezing itself through the Cuba pedestrian route, and enjoys some great exposure to coffee shops, interesting architecture, art galleries and more. Let’s face it though: it was never in that good a location for giant New World trucks to off load their goods, nor was it going to particularly impress shoppers who want to supermarket shop by car. The New World Willis St Metro is of course linked into a giant carpark, as are most others – the Railway station being the main exception to that rule.
But this site has had a number of different schemes, most (all?) by ArcHaus Architects. there was a proposal by ArcHaus for The Metropol, a tall apartment building, destined to be the most eco-friendly tower in town, and featuring the talents of a newly arrived young English architect, that I was actually looking forward to blowing us away. Not a big seller with the apartment buying market, presumably, the development never got off the ground. That actually replaced an earlier scheme, that had proved to be highly unpopular with the local Leed St residents, but I suspect that Metropol was also too high for the area as well.
More recently, the proposal has been called Ink, and has featured apartments over the proposed New World mini-super, and was pushing the envelope (literally) with heit limits maxing on the corners. The most recent news takes away the market, and with a little bit of luck, just leaves us with some “super” apartments.