Interesting news about the Warehouse’s future plans for their site in Balmoral
Say goodbye to the big red box on Balmoral Rd.
A cafe and apartments are included in The Warehouse’s plans for a major redevelopment on the site.
A two-building, 7130 square metre complex including The Warehouse, 34 apartments, and 234 car parking spaces will be built if the retail giant’s property company, Eldamos Investments, is granted resource consent by Auckland Council.
The Balmoral Warehouse is due to close this month and would be demolished along with a fruit and vegetable store and coffee shop, the Balmoral Rd BP service station, and a house at 16 Rocklands Ave to make way for the complex.
The Warehouse is working through a nationwide programme to review and modernise its stores.
“It will enhance the environment of the site considerably,” a spokesperson for the retailer says.
The company is working through a consultation process with stakeholders.
An application has also been made to rezone part of the site from residential to business.
This application was first notified in 2010 and 106 submissions were made asking that it be declined. Six were in support.
It was put on hold until the council received a traffic report in November and is now being renotified.
What I find interesting about this is we are once again seeing a traditional big box retailer starting to get into residential development. The other major one being Progressive (Countdown) and the Vinegar Lane development. I’m guessing a large part of it is about making better use of the land these companies own as well as possibly helping to offset some of the costs of their new stores. I suspect there are a heap of sites all around the city where something similar could be done in coming years. It is probably also something that would be helped as minimum parking requirements get eased as part of the unitary plan – although sadly not completely removed.
On the issue of parking there are 234 car parks in total, 200 of those are for the retail development at a rate of 1 space per 36m². As a comparison, for retail in town centres the proposed unitary plan sets a maximum of 1 space per 20m² so it is well below that and is also below the minimum set for retail outside towncentre which is 1 space per 25m². Most of the carparking will be underground. That leaves parking for the apartment development at 1 space per apartment.
Here is what is planned for the site. Building A is the proposed new warehouse building which would also contain a few ground floor retail sites that face out on to a new street. Building B is will have the 34 apartments and also have ground floor retail.
Here are some images of what the development is meant to look like. The first one showing what it would look like if you were driving past on Balmoral Rd. It’s certainly better than the look of an open car park but does present a large blank wall to the street. While that road is fairly inhuman at the moment, clawing back that free left hand turn lane could make a significant difference and so it would be nice to have that edge of the building activated.
And here is an image of the proposed street and apartments.
Lastly here are some before and afters, this one from the corner of the intersection with Dominion Rd.
And from straight across the road at the bus stop by Potters Park
I’m sure there will be some locals bound to complain about the height but to me it seems about right and doesn’t dwarf the town centre. I would also imagine that for those residents, they will be spending a lot of their time and their money in the Balmoral Town Centre which is great for the retailers.
You can see the planning application here.