Property editor of the NZ Herald

Progressive seeks action in Devonport

Auckland Council says there are no plans to sell  27 Lake Rd.
Auckland Council says there are no plans to sell 27 Lake Rd.

For more than two years, Progressive Enterprises has wanted a new Countdown on its Devonport land, but now its patience appears to be wearing thin because it can't buy more land.

Adrian Walker, property general manager, said the business had big plans for its ex-Firestone site in the bottom end of the North Shore where there is only a New World.

"We will be doing something on the Firestone site. We've had discussions with the council about that opportunity. We're at the stage where we will have to make a decision about whether we proceed.

"We could get a 1500sq m store on that site," he said, indicating Progressive hoped for action, one way or the other.

A 1500sq m store is less than half the size of rival Foodstuffs' New World Devonport at about 3500sq m.

"We've owned the land for two years and we have not been successful in getting any further land so we could sell but we're not going to. It's an opportunity to provide choice for that catchment.

It's like all other catchments where we have no representation and it's attractive," Walker said.

But those in the area have raised issues about traffic and are worried they could lose their refuse recycling station on an adjoining site.

Walker said attempts to get the council to sell neighbouring land which it owns were unsuccessful.

"To date, we haven't managed to convince them to release any land."

In 2012, Auckland Council Property Limited (ACPL) examined selling 27 Lake Rd, saying it wanted to review its future. But the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board expressed concern about traffic congestion if the land was redeveloped and sought a plan for its best use, eyeing it as a technology zone.

The site on the main road from Takapuna houses Devonport Timber, the Devonport Garden Centre, Central Landscape and Garden Supplies, the local refuse station and the old Claystore building.

Allan Young, ACPL's development manager, said last week the property was cleared for sale by the council on June 6 last year, subject to conditions. But he indicated that now, no sale was planned.

"Further investigation has been carried out by ACPL as to what residual land would be available for disposal and the practicality of achieving this.

"Due to the mixed zoning on the site and the site constraints, it is considered that a better outcome is to retain the property and undertake a proactive property management strategy," he said.

The local board hosted a public meeting last year to seek local views on the future of the land adjacent to Dacre Park football clubrooms.

Mike Cohen, local board chairman, said last week the board was awaiting ACPL's report. People wanted to keep the dump and timber store, he said.

People would have choice when Hauraki Corner's New World became a Countdown, Cohen said.

- NZ Herald

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