Hundreds of Takapuna parking spaces could soon become homes and businesses in a major project being lined up for Auckland's North Shore.
Seven plots in one of Auckland's biggest metropolitan areas, including more than 440 parking spaces, are among more than $25 million of prime real estate proposed for commercial and residential redevelopment by Auckland Council.
Takapuna's main Anzac St carpark, which has a capacity for 260 cars and where the 7699sq m plot is valued at $10,250,000, and other key parking areas on Huron St ($5.85 million) and Northcroft St ($1.4 million) - which together offer parking for 180 cars - are all on the block in plans to overhaul the affluent suburb.
Dubbed the Takapuna High Level Project Plan, councillors approved all seven sites at a development committee meeting on Thursday - handing Panuku Development Auckland the authority to "dispose of any of the properties" in a process which will unfold over the next year and involve public consultation.
George Wood, a North Shore councillor, says how those parking spaces could be replaced - and how to tackle the extra traffic pressures that new homes and businesses would place on an already strained Lake Rd - will be key considerations.
"Parking is going to be a major part of the consultative process for residents and business and one of the issues with Takapuna at the moment is a shortfall of carparks. So obviously, the number being provided is going to be a prime part of any new development," Mr Wood told the Herald.
"The other is the traffic situation because Lake Rd has been held in abeyance for years. Council has been looking at some of these sites for up to 20 years," he said.
"There's been a desire to redevelop for a long time, but it's just sat there.
"Takapuna was the main centre north of the bridge for years and has been taken over by Albany."
Julian Brown of the Takapuna Beach Business Association says the organisation welcomes the discussion and will advocate for parking facilities to be one of the first issues addressed should plans go ahead.
"It's significant parts of land, but they're completely under-utilised right now. It's ridiculous actually to have that much money sitting in the middle of town," Mr Brown said.
"We need to use land more wisely and reconnect the natural beauty of the beach area, which attracts a lot of people.
"You need to encourage."
The Auckland Council says location of the seven sites has been primary to their identification and redevelopment of the main Anzac St carpark could bring huge benefit.
"The carpark site has been in strategic and planning documents for years due to its location and potential to really give a whole new lease of life to the shopping centre," said David Rankin, Panuku's strategy and engagement director.