Council agrees to allow development New Apartments for Hobson Street 2012

 Council agrees to compromise allowing development by Dae Ju  Housing Co Ltd

Read the full article by Bob Dey here

Reproduced from Auckland and New Zealand Property – Bob Dey Publishing
Published 23 December 2011
The Auckland Council resolved yesterday to conclude a settlement agreement with Dae Ju
Housing Co Ltd which will enable the partial retention of the Wong Doo building at the corner of
Hobson & Cook Sts and development of an 82-unit apartment block above it.

The new building would be cantilevered over the Hobson St frontage of the Wong Doo building
(last occupied as Canvas City), but set back from the Cook St frontage (which I see I’ve
sometimes previously referred to as being on Mayoral Drive, a road which starts a block away).

The fate of the old building has been in the balance since April 2005, when Dae Ju was about to
demolish what was then Canvas City to make way for a 259-unit apartment block. Although Dae
Ju had consent to demolish some neighbouring old buildings, an Auckland City Council committee
put an ultimatum to the company when it sought consent to demolish Canvas City: Agree to hold
off & consider incorporating existing buildings in the new development, or have the application
publicly notified.

Dae Ju held off the Canvas City part of the project, splitting the development into 2 parts,
building the 18-storey 146-unit Fiore apartment block at 152-160 Hobson St and entering a 7-
year battle to develop the corner site at 164-168 Hobson St, across the road from the Central
Police Station.

Under the settlement agreement which the council approved yesterday, the council will modify its
heritage notice – notified on April to prevent demolition – and issue a new resource consent for
partial demolition. The council will pay the costs associated with the heads of agreement from its
heritage acquisition fund.

Precise details on retention costs haven’t been disclosed. Although the subject was on the
council’s open agenda yesterday, some of the detail was put in the confidential section of the
agenda. Planning consultant Mark Vinall said in his report that Dae Ju believed the council had
under-estimated the cost of retention. Those figures and details of valuation & quantity surveyor
feasibility studies were kept confidential in a separate report.

Dae Ju proposed a 14-storey serviced apartment building for the corner site, containing 84 one-
& 2-bedroom units and a single level of basement parking accessed from Cook St. It would have
had commercial floorspace at the ground & first-floor levels.

To retain the whole of the Wong Doo building, the council proposed an L-shaped development,
14 levels, 72 apartments, no basement, commercial & retail on the ground & level 1.

The compromise is a 14-storey building containing 82 one-bedroom apartments, with a partial
basement outside the Wong Doo footprint for storage & utilities.