Growing up out west I used to pass through New Lynn on a fairly regular basis and up until a few years ago the place was pretty run down. That all started to change a few years ago when the rail line was placed into a trench and the fantastic new station and bus interchange was built. But while that development was good, it was only the start of a programme created by the former Waitakere City Council to transform the whole area and it is probably fair to say that it is the biggest urban redevelopment going on in the country outside of the CBD. Here is an old image we saw looking at some potential development.
Patrick and I visited New Lynn the other to have a look around the developments going on there. The place is a hive of activity with lots of different projects going on so here are a few photos of how things are looking at the moment:
First up, Gt North Rd where as a result of things like the Clark St bypass (as seen to the left of the image above) the plans are to slow down traffic and make it more pedestrian friendly. Work is currently focused on the southern side of the road where some quite deep pits are being constructed. These will eventually have two purposes, the primary one will be to collect and filter storm water but they will also be used to hold trees. You can see just how much space has been taken out of the road when you compare the location of the new kerb with the old one to the left of the image.
Next up is McRae Way which is a shared space that comes off Gt North Rd and curves around to Mayoral Dr and currently sits behind most of the shops. Here are a couple of images courtsy of Google that show how things used to be and as you can see it was not really a road at all but just a route through a hideous car park (note the old bus station and train station are in the bottom right of the map)
And here is how it looks today with the first part of the shared space completed:
And looking back in the direction of New North Rd
Lining this share space with buildings will really help to transform this space and could help to make it into a really cool area. Of course one thing that also sticks out in the first McRae Way photo above was the development going on in the background. That is part of developments Infratil are doing on top of the old bus station site. There are two buildings going up here, the one you see in the picture will have retail on the bottom and then car parking above it which I believe is partly to allow for development of the carparks above. One floor of parking is actually being dedicated to the other building going in which will be a medical centre along with other medical practices. Like the car park it will also have retail on the ground floor and there will be a lane between the two giving good access to the train station.
The last thing going on at the moment is at the train station itself. There Auckland Transport are adding additional canopies which when finished will provide complete coverage of the platforms and stairwells (something a lot more stations need). It is a bit hard to photograph them but here you can see the canopy extending down the stairs.
And the new and old canopies in the trench itself
Note to AT: the station could really do with a good clean, the artwork panels and platform edges and old canopies look really dirty. Also when on the train I have noticed weeds growing at each end of the platforms where water has pooled
All up there is quite a bit going on here and some really exciting changes for what was once a pretty run down place. Assuming it is ultimately judged to be successful I suspect that the town centre will likely become a template for future redevelopment, not just in the city but within the country as well.