Mahara Place from Google Earth
“[Michael Scott]’s developed a new strategy which included a land swap with a purpose-built supermarket with underground parking on the large council-owned carpark next to a realigned Marae Lane.
“It would enable the current Countdown supermarket site to be opened up for other uses as well as creation of a new single level Waikanae Library next to it.
“Council needed to lead the way in the land swap and all the major players especially council, Progressive Enterprises and Manchester Unity needed to work together for the future good of the town centre, he said.
“Other commercial players would need to have a role in the process too.”
The reporting doesn’t give the details necessary to understand exactly what Cr Scott has in mind.
But one thing which is obvious is that the Mahara Gallery expansion (one story upwards) is not going to happen because the gallery has only raised (as at 29 February) $933,000 of the $5.3 million it needs to.
Does Countdown (shaded orange in the pic above) want to change anything? We have the strong suspicion that it wants to move to the beach closer to where the Expressway off-ramps will be. But Cr Michael Scott has told us directly that it has too much invested in its existing building. Beach residents are unhappy about the idea of a supermarket west of the Expressway, too.
What is so much better about a one-story library than a two story one (the library is shaded magenta)? If you want more natural light you can put Solatubes in the roof — website
“We need to open up the northern end of Mahara Place.” Why? There’s a big carpark plus a small park there.
Underground car park — hmm, almost certainly that would be a user-pays one. Waikanae is not Wellington.
“The council’s current proposals were simply papering over fundamental cracks”. Yes, but is more than that warranted?
As has been made clear multiple times, not just by us, the existing town centre is going to experience a big loss of business because of the Expressway in a year from now, so is lots of spending by the council justified when things we really need — the dam and the railway underpass — are far more important?
We’ve noticed these comments from Michael Scott on Sue Lusk’s Destination Waikanae facebook page
- “We need the two supermarkets in Waikanae to maintain viability. New World opened after a long search for a site. If one were to close there will be questions about the others future. No supermarkets means Waikanae shopping Centre stone dead!”
- “Design & build consultant have been engaged by KCDC …to make sure we get the urban form right.”
In regard to (1), why should the closure of one supermarket affect the other’s viability? Surely the opposite is true? New World is unlikely to go, but Countdown (Woolworths)’s building is old and unexciting. If they departed wouldn’t that provide the space for Michael Scott’s new single level library and the Mahara Gallery could move into the library?
In regard to (2), yes, KCDC boss Mr Dougherty has spent huge amounts of ratepayers’ money on his consultants which included the ridiculous Ngaio Road development notion. It’s time for Dougherty to be reigned in.