Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Takapuna office owner in talks with council over route of road

Ben Wiltshire. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Ben Wiltshire. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The owner of a large Takapuna office block now standing in the path of a controversial potential road realignment has held discussions with Auckland Council officials over plans for the area.

Ben Wiltshire, of Wiltshire Property Group, said one of his family's entities owned the big white Colmar Brunton building, which would be demolished if the council succeeded in changing the course of The Strand to create a much larger open space area to complement the existing 4.3ha beachfront reserve.

"The site at 6-10 The Strand is owned by an investment company within the Wiltshire Property Group," Wiltshire said.

The Strand would run through the centre of the building if a council plan went ahead.

"All the property owners along The Strand were approached by the council a year or so ago and a number of times since regarding a concept for the realignment of The Strand," he said, taking issue with Crown Asia-Pacific Group owner John Copson who has complained about lack of consultation.

"I note this is contrary to what Crown are saying," Wiltshire said.

Copson has spoken out against the road realignment, saying it would ruin his scheme for a $250 million apartment, business hotel, shop, restaurant and cafe complex.

Wiltshire would not say if the council had an option to buy the Colmar Brunton building, alluding instead to his family's successful $11 million redevelopment of its big existing holding which is now the McKenzies Project, in Hurstmere Rd, named after the former department store which once traded on the site.

- NZ Herald

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