Clients of one of Auckland's most popular central-city gyms have been told they won't even "need to cross the road" from their car park to their training base because a new multi-level building is rising.
Leighs Construction has begun work on the new 333-vehicle carparking block beside the existing Les Mills' Auckland City at 186 Victoria St, opposite Spark and above Victoria Park.
"All going well the new Wellesley St car park will open at the beginning of 2019. We know that convenience is king and easy car parking is important. Unfortunately, we won't be able to use our neighbours' carparks forever so we've decided to build our own. When finished, it'll mean no more walking across the road from Sale St," the business says.
The building at 188 Victoria St will span the block from Wellesley St to Victoria St to meet strong demand and replace spaces the gym has provided to clients elsewhere.
But Matt Lowrie, editor of Greater Auckland which promotes walking and biking, described the scheme as ridiculous.
"Driving to the gym to get on an exercise bike is the height of absurdity. If we want to build our cities to give people more exercise options - walking, biking - we need more active transport which means you don't have to go to a gym to get exercise. You're getting it naturally," Lowrie said.
Phillip Mills, head of the Les Mills gym business, said the new building would have retail on the ground floor and bike storage: "It's not just car parking, there's a whole massive site redevelopment. As a dedicated greenie, the last thing I wanted to do was build a car park but we have 12,000 members there. We have to build car parking and we're making it as green a car park as it can be with charging stations."
Leases on carparking sites nearby could not berenewed at the end of next year, he said, so the business had to develop.
Les Mills indicated clients of the Auckland hub needed car parking: "Everyone loves to get a car park," the business said on January 9.
"Our Auckland City has been around since 1975 and we know we can make the club, bigger, brighter and better for you. This year will see the beginning of major renovations, starting with the building of a new multi-storey 333 carpark building where our Wellesley St carpark is," the business has told its clients.
Les Mills tells clients that if they get a ticket once they park in the new building, they will need to contact Tournament Parking's company NZCMS.
While the new building is rising, members have been given instructions about where to park.
"Please only use the Les Mills carparks while you're training at the gym. You may park for up to 90 minutes in designated areas, as long as your Les Mills WOF sticker is clearly displayed. If using the Sale St carpark between 8am-5pm weekdays, you must park in yellow marked 'LM' parking spaces. From 5pm-8am weekdays and in weekends Sale St car parking is available in the unreserved parking spaces - excluding the P180 spaces," the business says.