April 25, 2018
Auckland Council is trying to sell off Henderson
The great Auckland Council has finally realised Henderson actually exists. How do we know this? Because they are trying to sell it.
The old Waitākere City Council building, dubbed the Harvey Mausoleum, is among the properties identified by Panuku – a council-controlled organisation – for the chopping block.
The towering Henderson building is valued at $57.7 million. Also on the block is the council car park, which Panuku says can house 50-80 terrace homes as well as low-rise apartments.
Further along Henderson Valley Rd is the Wilsher Retirement development that sits on 12,979 square metres. At $600 per square metre, the book value is $7.7m.
It will be home for up to 40 elderly and 50 to 60 additional family-oriented terrace homes. The Falls 5313sqm carpark in Henderson, at $700 per square metre, is worth $3.7m, and across the road the 7223sqm Alderman car park site has a value of $5.05m.
There is also property in Trading Place, The Waitākere Library car park in Ratanui St and Corbans Hill Car park.
The council last week deferred all sales this time around, but it's not an if they will be sold – but when.
What I cannot fathom throughout this process is who is advocating for us Westies on how poorly Henderson has been treated? You have to ask yourself where our elected councillors Penny Hulse and Linda Cooper stand on the sale given it is proceeding and they say local councillors "sweated blood" to build it.
There's no doubt there's been a lack of town renewal, a lack of reinvestment and basically a lack of Auckland Council strategic thinking and support for Henderson.
In a previous column on West Auckland's golden triangle (the stretch from Rosebank Rd to Lincoln Rd, into the heart of Henderson), I wrote of the big dollar investments in Westgate and New Lynn. Yet the apex of the triangle – Henderson – has been left out of the mix.
But if money from the asset sales is allocated to a Henderson main street revival, that would be a great start. Imagine if Great North Rd in Henderson turns into our very own West Auckland wine walk-through, adopting and showcasing a theme dating back to our founding Dalmatian forefathers. I know a project like this would drive our communities and families back into the city centre.
Another issue out west is that we have some of the strictest licensing laws around. That's why it amazed me when the 'powers that be' bought a warehouse in Central Park Drive, named it the Hangar Bar and it duly became the mecca for drinking in West Auckland. Really?
Why not invest in our town hubs? Despite the big investment into that warehouse on Central Park Drive – it's already undergone a couple of facelifts costing thousands of dollars – it is clear that booze barns like The Hangar are not really what the community wants or needs.
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