Wellington’s Waterfront is going to be quite full, or so it seems. Yesterday the WCC agreed in principle to the proposed Fale Malae being proposed for the waterfront, or at least for them to go forward to the next phase of planning. This is the same Fale that was proposed for a site up near Parliament (on Bunny St, between the Victoria School of Law in the old Government Buildings, and the VUW Business School in Rutherford House). Evidently someone has ruled that the parliamentary site was unsuitable, and so Frank Kitts Park has been proposed instead.
Frank Kitts Park is going to be a busy place, or so it seems. For some reason the Council seems to have it in for Frank Kitts, given that at one end there is an existing children’s playground which has just been butchered, and at the other end there is an underground carpark building which has just been condemned. Somewhere in the middle there is a proposed Chinese Garden, which has been spoken about for so long now that I’ve lost track of exactly where it is proposed for, and what its time line is. The Chinese Garden proposal was talked about when Kerry Prendergast was Mayor – so, not Andy Foster, not Justin Lester, not Celia Wade-Brown, not Mark Blumsky, but Kerry P – that makes it by my reckoning about 5 Mayors ago? And in all that time, not an ounce of effort actually on site.
So it could be quite possible that what is now Open Space at Frank Kitts (actually double Public space, as it is two levelled – you can have events going on upstairs in the park and downstairs in the carpark / Underground markets at the same time) is now going to have Zero Open Space, with even a potential double booking of both Chinese Garden and Samoan Fale at the same time – and in the same physical space too? Is WCC setting up the waterfront as a venue for combat? Or are they going to happily co-exist nestled next to each other?
I’d love to tell you more, but I simply don’t know. Despite Council agreeing to it, there is virtually no information out in the public domain at present. WSP Opus evidently have done a plan for the old Parliamentary Precinct site, but there are no new drawings, as yet. And only a battle ahead, once Waterfront Watch girdle their loins and prepare, inevitably, to protest once more….
A question from me, to ponder on: Could the Fale be used in the weekend for a weekly market hall?
And a correction from me as well: it is apparently not just me who is unsure what or where, with regards to the Fale. I’ve just been watching the WCC committee meeting online rerun (hours of my life exhausted) and find that the Council don’t know either, and even the applicant (the Fale trust) don’t know, with Dame Winnie Laban presenting and someone called Sophie at the meeting stating that they had engaged architects Jasmax to prepare designs, some engineers to look at ground conditions, and that they would report back in November on the process for Resource Consent.
Soooo. for the prior proposed site, they would just close Bunny St off and build it there?
That’s possibly why they ran into “regulatory difficulties”. I’m not sure who indicated that it might be a good idea to aim for Bunny St – isn’t it part of what is termed the “Parliamentary Precinct” ?
Or was that just confined to the next block down?
But anyway – perhaps it was a good tactic. Certainly got their proposal on the table for discussion!
It’s a shame that Frank Kitts Park isn’t bigger.
As it stands, it just isn’t large enough to accommodate the IKEA that Wellington so desperately needs
Wasn’t there talk of the Fale going down the end of Kitts closest to the lagoon once the condemned carpark had been ripped down?
A vibrant Pacific Islander presence on the waterfront would be great
Do you mean, like the vibrant Maori presence around the Corporate headquarters a little further along the waterfront?
At least there is a chance of more foot traffic through the new V-shaped crossing whatsit proposed by willis bond/LTs
I’m sure they would have thought of the wastewater tank underneath there, when scoping the project out? Nothing a few bridging beams wouldn’t sort, eh 60? ;D
When that happened I know that one of the tug boat captains got told by Centreport management to go down there and use the tug motors to break it up with the aim of pretending it hadn’t happened
Said captain told his boss to get f**ked, they didn’t push the idea any more..
To be fair, that is all that happens when poo goes into the ocean – the waves break it up into smaller pieces, and eventually the water separates it out. Takes a few days for the sunshine and microbes to break down the poo into its solid nutrient states – but the job is done. I saw something the other day on TV – Tony Robinson walking the Thames – and he went to the sewerage works up the river. The combined sewerage of 8 million Londoners gets broken down over a matter of just a few days. Plastic bags, of course, excluded.
But still: no one wants a polluted sea. Let alone polluted waterfront / harbour.
Is it just me, or is that proposal for “the new V-shaped crossing whatsit” fairly ill-thought-out? I’m finding it really hard to get my head around it. Why would someone plan to build a building on that site? Is there some rule in Wellington that absolutely every single piece of land anywhere near the waterfront absolutely must get built on, not matter how unnecessary? And I know that the Amora “hotel” isn’t being used right at the moment, but heck, are they ever going to be pissed off!
Amora (and the old James Smith Carpark) are owned by Prime Properties (Aka Mr Aharoni).. I don’t think there is a lot of love between the Council and him given the length of time some of his sites lay dormant….
– plus then there are the other issues
Any idea why the Amora has been dormant for so long? And the carpark behind it? Its been years now. Surely Eyal must want to get some money coming back in for those properties….?