Follow us on Twitter

Should Auckland Transport get out of the parking business?

This is a question that Councillor Chris Darby asked on Facebook last week:
chris-darbyIt is a valid question, especially considering the white elephant that has been the Ronwood Ave carpark in Manukau. But if we look a bit closer at the city centre, it seems like some pretty key sites – worth quite a lot of money – are wrapped up in parking. Let’s just look at the Downtown and Victoria Street carparks.

The Downtown carpark has nearly 1,900 spaces, occupies a prime site pretty much on the waterfront and is a key location in terms of linking together the city with the viaduct and Wynyard Quarter areas, as well as to the growing Victoria Quarter. The site has a capital value of $65 million, of which around half is the value of the land it occupies:

downtown-carparkThe Victoria Street carpark is about half the size (just under 900 spaces) and once again is located in a pretty prime spot in the city centre – right next to Albert Park and with a bit of elevation overlooking the Queen Street valley. It’s worth $45 million, of which just over $20 million is the value of the land itself.

victoria-st-carpark

I wonder what sort of rate of return the Council is getting on these pretty expensive assets. Looking at the pricing structure of parking in these buildings it seems as though prices are about the same (for early bird) or cheaper (for casual parking) than they were a decade ago. The Draft Annual Plan suggests a fairly modest $2.7 million profit from the entirety of the Council’s off-street parking business – on revenue of $28.6 million. While some expenditure will be on free parking areas in smaller centres, it does appear as though the rate of return on the city centre parking buildings (let alone the Ronwood Ave white elephant) is fairly dismal.

Councillor Darby seems keen to have the conversation around whether off-street parking buildings should be something Council (through Auckland Transport) gets involved in. Considering that in the city centre, owning parking buildings and probably subsidising the cost of parking (through the very low rate of return) goes against all policies to boost public transport use and unclog the city centre of cars, it’s a damn good conversation to have. Another one is whether Council should sell the buildings in their current use or redevelop them into something else themselves (as suggested for the Downtown carpark in the City Centre Master Plan).

54 comments to Should Auckland Transport get out of the parking business?

  • Jon Reeves

    Get out of the parking game.

    Basel City in Switzerland does not own parking buildings but FULLY owns the extensive tram and bus network. It pushes hard for people to use PT so less money is spent on roading. The monthly pass on the entire Basel and environs networks costs nz$110!!!

    Auckland Transport has no need to own parking buildings and offer lower cost monthly passes for PT.

    • The equivalent in Auckland is only $140, not too bad.

      • Jon Reeves

        Nick R it is bad as the average salary in Switzerland is double that of NZ.

        And the Annual Pass for the region is nz$1200!

        Sell the parking buildings AT!

        • That is good for them, but naturally the average salary in Switzerland has no bearing on the cost of delivering public transport in Auckland, nor the number of people who use it here. It’s not surprising that people in rich countries find buying things more affordable, but that doesn’t mean poorer countries should find it just as affordable.

          If you are saying we should subsidise public transport to the point where it costs the user half what it does now, so that it is equivalent to the Swiss income to price ratio, well I suppose that is a fair stance to take. But that is in part robbing Peter to pay Paul, pure subsidy and nothing more.

          In my opinion price isn’t a particularly important reason why Aucklanders as a whole tend not to use PT. The unreliable service, poor frequency, poor span of service, slowness of connections, illegibility of the network etc are the main reasons. While there is a small sector of the population that are very price sensitive, most are far more sensitive to those other factors. The people for whom the existing network actually works well (i.e. weekday CBD commuters, students and, to use a blunt term, welfare captives) already use it. If you slash the price a few people might be willing to waste more of their time and effort to use it, but for most people you could make the existing network entirely free and they still wouldn’t put up with the bother.

          I think the approach has to be one of making public transport intrinsically more affordable, and the way to do that is to reduce the cost of service delivery and increase the number of paying passengers on each service. That is probably what the Swiss have, an efficient network that is well patronised all the time because it’s actually useful to a lot of people, such that it brings in plenty of revenue with low costs per passenger.

          Simply cutting the ticket price might get a few more people on board, but I’m not sure if that would be a net gain economically. Could just be a case of buying a few bums on seats with more ratepayer funds on subsidy.

          I’m actually pretty confident we will see a relative price drop over the next few years. The New Network greatly increases the legibility, functionality and usability of Auckland public transport without spending any more on service delivery. In fact the new trains and hop system that comes with it will mean cheaper service delivery in the long run. So that means cheaper costs, or at least held constant, but much more useful service leading to many new paying customers year in year out for a long time to come. More efficient service delivery and higher occupancy means the cost per passenger will drop, while overall fare revenue will continue increase as more and more people use it. Effectively it gets cheaper to run and use the more efficient it is, and we are lining up a perfect storm of efficiency and usefulness gains over the next two to three years.

          My suggestion is they hold fares constant, at least on hop if not cash, and as each stage of the New Network beds in and patronage continues to climb it becomes more cost effective. Maybe a token discount as marketing to get the ball rolling, although we have already had one of those with the introduction of Hop. Holding them constant without allowing for inflation is basically the same as a 2-3% discount each year. In ten years fares would be at a big discount, effectively, of what they are now.

          Having said that, I do think there is scope to get more sophisticated with the monthly passes, and introduce a weekly and/or daily variant for students, young people and other wage workers who get by on a paycheck to paycheck budget. I’m waiting in anticipation for the planned fare zones to be released. Right now the monthly pass for someone who only travels between Takapuna and the City is the same product as for a person who needs to travel between Orewa and Otahuhu. Naturally the fare is priced according to the latter, at the expense of the former.
          I think as a first step they could push the A zone boundary north to about Constellation, such that it encircles the city centre and the B zones don’t start until you are actually well out of the middle suburbs, regardless of the direction.

          • Greg N

            Nick I agree with your comments.

            We need a better HOP based day/week/month pass system now,
            AT is not planning to introduce integrated fares with either 4 concentric zones plus inner zone or 5 concentric zones until 2Q of 2015, according to March board papers and thats about 15 months away.

            But they do appear to moving on the zone pass option sooner.

            And they have to fix the broken PT system sooner too, to ensure people can actually use the PT they’re given..

  • Loraxus

    Sell off, maybe with a legal agreement that within a set period, (say 10 years) the consent to use these sites as car parking lapses, and may not be renewed?

    Developing it yourself or in partnership has a lot of interest, but takes a lot of startup cash and wouldn’t be fasdt at all. Better to cash out now and use for debt reduction and the CRL.

  • Sam B

    More important than selling up (and needing to be done first even if selling is the medium term goal): increasing fees and moving the buildings to a more commercial profit-focused model.

    A cautionary tale that we don’t want Auckland to follow is that of Wellington. In 2003, Wellington decided to exit the parking business and sold it’s poorly performing parking buildings. Naturally the new private owners immediately put up fees. Immediately the buildings we worth a whole lot more. Value transferred to the new private owners at the expense of all Wellingtonians by this poorly managed council sale decision. E.g. James Smith building sold by the council for $15 m, resold a few months later for $21 million after price rises and minor improvements (link http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0410/S00084.htm confirms the prices, other aspects of the story are my recollection).

    Its silly that we’re all subsidising parking by not having it charged at full commercial rates – just compare the early-bird/casual prices in AT buildings in the city centre to neighbouring privately owned buildings to confirm the subsidy. The first thing to fix is the pricing, to ensure any benefit of price increases goes to AT. Then consider sales down the track.

    • Greg N

      As the article said Wellington shot itself twice – once by selling it all off cheaply (on the basis that they couldn’t get price increases through council, so this was the best return they’d get). And the new owner immediately got a 25% value uplift as theycould put up prices.

      Then two: (this is the unbelievable part), then putting up their own (presumably, now, only on street) parking prices not long after – which immediately doubled the private car park owners values as they now charge the same as council did.

      So they lost out twice. You couldn’t get a better text-book case of how NOT to do it.

      It is one reason why AT runs the transport side of the business here – to keep this sort of thing out of the day to day meddling of councillors who could refuse to allow price increases for parking then vote to sell off council parking assets for a song, then do a u-turn months later on price rises like Wellington did.

      But it is a salutary lesson and we should not go there.

      • So what went wrong? The council liquidated an under performing asset, made 15m, increased revenue on on street parking and stopped undercutting the market in one move. Council has cash in hand, increased income on the remaining assets and everyone is now paying market rates for parking.

        • Greg N

          Nick, thats one way to read it.

          The facts are: Council put the cart before the horse, had a fire sale of their parking assets basically because of political stonewalling of Councillors who did not want to put up parking prices, then same councillors turned around and put up prices on what they had left after the fire sale within months.

          Council sold the asset to stop the losses. Ok thats fine good decision for a under-performing asset **with no hope of a better outcome**.

          Then immediately (within months) they then upped the price on the on-street parking – (doubled it I think Scoop said).

          This in effect meant that their loss making car park buildings they’d sold off could now either charge the same rate (i.e. they too could double their rates as compared to when Council owned it), so they went from “loss making” to “gross making”.

          Net result – because of the order of business decisions – Council transferred a huge amount of value to the new private owners of the car parks and all within months of them buying it and it was value council themselves could have unlocked if they’d actually planned their decisions better.

          Now, if Council had upped the on-street parking first, then the “loss-making” car parks could then have either been subsidised by the on-street parks to encourage off-street parking, or could have then turned around and upped the off-street parking as well. And they would have achieved the increase towards market rates.

          Then when they’d sold, they be asking twice the price that they actually got – for was no longer an “under performing” asset.

          In any case, the rest of the article points out that Wellington parking is 100% used most of the day, so this means that the price they are charging even now is still lower than it should be.

          • Ok, so you’re not bothered by the end result as a whole, but rather that the council could have arrived at the same outcome with a bigger pile of cash if they had managed it better. Fair enough.

          • Greg N

            No not bothered by what Wellington did, but we should learn from their mistake and not repeat it.

            Lord knows ACC made a fool of itself with the way the old ACC dumped half its Airport shares when bill Birch told Banks (as Auckland city Council Mayor) to do so.
            And the money from dividends since forgone from those shares has well exceeded the interest “saved” on the ACC so-called “debt mountain” ever since.

  • Greg N

    If any property developer can go into it for the long haul – councils can, as they can borrow at interest rates no local Developer can match.

    So flogging the sites off as they are is going to cause a huge loss to the rate payer who owns the sites.

    So council should retain and plan to redevelop the sites – either in partnership with, or in opposition to private developers if need be.

    As for parking, to a certain degree council being in parking help keeps Wilsons and Tournament more honest players than they would be otherwise.
    AT does compare its parking average early bird rates against the competitors – its reported to the AT board each month.

    But, what is needed is that a rating/land-use policy is developed that makes using land for carparks uneconomic in the medium to the longer term so all car park sites are eventually redeveloped into a better use – with the attendant uptick in PT use as a result of less car parking being present will cause.

    That is where real change will come from, not flogging off the parking buildings “as-is” to some Wilson or Tournament wannabe – who will end up throwing in the towel to those guys in a few years as the Wilsons and the like have deeper pockets and can sustain a price war.

    Of course, PT needs to be there first, so we’re talking AT staying the course as it is now until once the CRL is open. Then redeveloping those sites after that.
    In the meantime they can start the rating policy shift for all car park buildings (including its own), to ensure the change of use occurs within 10 years.

    Then Council can put up some really good developments on those sites it owns (and through urban design rules, ensure the privately owned sites are equally as good) and no one will miss the car parking building very much I’m sure by then.
    As PT will be so good and so in demand that fewer and fewer will want to drive into the CBD for shopping ir anything else.

    The previous council did however create a white elephant at Manukau, and consider, if the money wasted on that car park building there had instead been put towards the Manukau Rail Station rail line “extension”, then the rail station would now be in a much better location closer to the mall than it is now.

    • Loraxus

      “help keeps Wilsons and Tournament more honest players than they would be otherwise”

      Sorry, but what part of free market do you not like? Wilson / Tournament are not bound by any requirement to keep prices low. They charge as much as the market can bear, and they SHOULD do so. Especially for something as potentially negative as car parking, we don’t want it to be undercut by our own rates money subsidies.

      You can assume that Wilson / Tournament will be as honest now as they will be then – they will jack the prices up as high as they can. They just can’t ask for more right now, because Council undercuts them. With MY rates money.

      • bbc

        Exactly my thoughts Loraxus, why are my rates going towards maintaining ridiculously low parking costs in the innercity.

      • Greg N

        Where is your evidence that Auckland Transport is subsidising parking in its buildings with *your* rates money that you are so indignant about?

        Most of the buildings came from the old ACC and they were for the most part well and truly “paid off” in the 50+ years since they were built with parking fees earned on top of the cost of running the buildings and in some cases with ratepayer input to extend them at times. But thats not your rates money – thats previous generations who may have contributed rates.

        As for free markets, yes Its a race to the bottom with AT, Tounament and Wilsons as far as parking rates goes, but each has a cost of their operation that they have to meet.
        In that regard AT is no different than Tournament or Wilson it has costs to cover. in that regards its a free market.

        But AT being there does help out – You may not like that fact, but until PT into and out of the CBD is properly working with bus priority measures and the like (and yes, the CRL too), then there is some short term benefit in ensuring that CBD parking remains affordable – **but only as long as PT can’t deliver** an effective alternative.

        We hear now how fulllate and missing the buses leaving the CBD are each night and how in the morning they leave people behind at bus stops along the way, thats not a PT system thats effective or working. YEs its changing, but has a ways to go.
        Now imagine parking prices tripled over night, droves of people would stop driving their cars and flock to PT – and couldn’t get on it if they tried. Is that a valid way to run the city?

        Once PT can deliver, then the gloves should come off and AT hike its prices.

        • Tamaki

          Read the last long term plan. Off street parking receives a small subsidy from rates for operational reasons. And that’s real costs, and doesn’t include the loss on the invested capital. Or any new capital investments that would be paid for out of council borrowing. Council doesn’t seem to be competing fairly.

          • Neil

            The only significant cost for a parking building is depreciation. To require a subsidy must be because of overhead allocation. The “subsidy” must be to cover their share of Len Brown’s army of PR staff.

  • There are some advantages in retaining ownership. It retains full future control over any change in use. But it is completely crazy that AT is price leader at the low end. And even more insane that it offers ‘earlybird’ incentives for peak driving!?

    What is certainly needed is a a coordination of management of the pricing structures that take into account all of the city’s aims; quality of place, congestion reduction, and transit modeshare goals.

    • Greg N

      Agree early bird parking should stop at 7am – not 9am or later..
      To be fair ACC used to have early bird parking to 10am.

      But its that 2 hour AM peak thats the time when we want less cars on the road in the CBD, so in by 7am (or maybe 7:30am) should be the rule.

      • Yes, earlybird is really road pricing on the sly, or at least it should be: incentivising a more efficient use of the road network, so that means only actual early birds must be able to qualify.

        • Greg N

          Of course Patrick there is no incentive for Wilsons or Tournament to play ball as they don’t bear the costs of peak traffic road demands – AT does.

          And even it AT did that, Wilson and Tournament would cream it from all the “not so early birds who want cheap parking and drive between 7 and 9am”.
          .
          I recall in the bad old days before lots of cheap off-street parking, there used to be a 9am daily race to get to the free all day on-street parking which started once the Clearways stopped at 9am. And hundreds of people cruised the CBD streets each morning until 9am then parked and went to work.
          I don’t think we want to go back to that anytime soon.

  • Greg N

    The value of the car park buildings and land is an interesting one – those were all paid for by previous generation of rate payers (and parkers) under the old ACC long before Super City came along.

    To say that the car parks must return 5 or 10% of their capital value annually is strictly speaking what a Economist would demand – but that is on the assumption that the asset will wear out and when it does it will be replaced like for like. In this case, the asset will wear out in time, but would not remain or be rebuilt as a car park site.
    So should council aim for a return on the “$33m” improvements when those very improvements would be torn down during any redevelopment?
    So effectively those improvements are (demolition) costs not true asset valuations?

    At $20m the land value is probably way under valued, but thats probably as the land is being valued for its use as a car park building and may not be zoned for much else right now.

    True value for ratepayers can be unlocked by ensuring they have zonings to match adjacent sites so its true development potential and resale value can be unlocked BEFORE council sells or redevelops it..

    When the site up the hill on corner of Victoria street and Albert Streets where that 42 story building is going to go is worth 2.5 times at least as the Victoria St car park, why isn’t Victoria St car park site (in a better position all round some would say) worth even more as an empty site?

    As for the Downtown car park building ,this is one of the last close to the (almost absolute) )waterfront sites left, so should be worth an absolute premium when redeveloped.
    I nfact I’d go so far as to say, that council should buy the hotel in front of the site and have a true absolute waterfront gem and redevelop both sites.

    However, for now, as car parks, you could argue that the return on the council car parking need be at best 5% on the land value only for now as a cheap way to land bank the sites until they are ready for redevelopment by council..

    Council could make more $ by upping prices, but they are not the only one parking provider in the market place so if they up their rates they make make less money overall.

    So status quo is not ideal but for now, while council sorts it shit out, its a reasonable compromise.

    And note low returns on 50+ year old carparks is *not* a reason to sell the sites off now and leave the profit for the private developers alone.
    These sites are Auckland Councils family jewels from previous generations and should be squandered lightly nor should they stay as they are for too long either.

    • Neil

      I seem to remember a couple of CBD sites that have been empty for 25 years, and for one the best use is going to be a car park! There is no certainty that the 42 story building will happen yet. It has been proposed and consented before with no result. The Downtown Car Park Early bird is not usually full so demand cannot be that huge. The demand for office space in the CBD is about 1 tower every 2 years. Precinct are starting in 2016 so there will not need to be another until 2018 or later.

      • Greg N

        Agreed that some sites are little more than car parks but thats more an indictment of council land use policies than anything else.
        And the 42 level tower may not go ahead as you suggest.

        So there is no pressing need for AT to sell the the operation off then.

        As for parking demand, there is a tension between early bird parking (well all day parking really) and casual/in and out parking.
        I’d assume casual parking offers higher value to the retailers and offices around the area than all day early parkers.

        I do recall a lot of the parking buildings parks (especially on lower floors) are leased out to business for their staff to use so how much of the building is really available for all day or casual in and out parking I don’t know. And presumably a monthly or longer lease on a car park is less than the early bird price so is lowering the value of the car park in return for keeping the lower floors full?

    • Tamaki

      Any sensible person expects a return on their investment, not just economists as you say. Let’s say that over a period you save 100k and put in into an investment where you get 0% pa. But you also have a 200k mortgage with 5% interest. Most rational people would transfer their asset to the mortgage and would get a 5% return on the 100k over the rest of the mortgage. Govt debt is exactly the same. People get sentimental over owning things, but it’s an ever changing portfolio. If it ain’t performing, get rid of it.

  • Bevan

    There is an argument of keeping the building parking rates lower than on street parking costs in the city so you don’t end up with cars circling around the city blocks looking for parks and rather just head straight for the parking buildings.

    • Greg N

      That easy to fix, just ensure on-street parking is higher priced than off street – which is at it should be.

    • bbc

      People do that regardless, but was part of the though process behind lowering the pricing in the parking buildings. They should have simply increased it along with the street parking. It still beggars belief that so many inner-city streets are free on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Riccardo

    Yes phil, so in love with that carpark in Manukau! What was its occupancy again?

  • Ted E

    Retain ownership in all scenarios! Increase the charges to a fair return on capital! Increase on street parking costs as needed to ensure competition is in favour of off street parking. Reduce on street parking over time to facilitate vehicle traffic flow and encourage pedestrian and cycle use. Regulate delivery times and usage in high traffic areas to maintain flows. This should ensure that building design and retrofits takes deliveries into account.

  • Ant

    Secure parking will probably be a handy asset to have once MIT is finished, Manukau Station is up and running and Te Papa comes along.

  • PeterH

    Hamilton is a hard one to beat when it comes to car parking madness.
    In 2009 spend $9m to buy back car parking sold in the 1990’s. Then spends about $3.7m on move car park entrance so that cars can drive through civic Square/Garden place (this is called revitalising) and now it is now valued between $3m to $6.5m

  • bbc

    They should be demolished and the land redeveloped into apartments, offices etc with no parking. Considering the number of new builds by the private sector it wouldn’t even be reducing the number of parking spaces in the city over what was there even a few years ago. In addition, there really should be a sinking cap on parking spaces in the city, much as happens in Zurich in Switzerland. If you want to build 10 spaces you have to buy 10 spaces elsewhere and shut them down. Such a policy would work well, the council could simply sell these existing spaces off, demolish the building and use the money to redevelop, ending up with something extremely valuable and at the same time using it as a model for well designed inner-city buildings. I’m also of the opinion that the council should be buying up sites such as the Fort Street surface parking site and redeveloping it themselves if the best the free market can deliver is a 4 storey carparking building. As it is allowing that to go ahead is just making a mockery of all the public money spent on the shared spaces in the area.

    • Auckland CBD currently has the same amount of parking as Melbourne. Melbourne CBD is about three times the size.

      We can afford to do away with some, particularly the downtown block given it must be so valuable.

    • Neil

      If Precinct and KIPT cannot make money developing Fort Street, what makes you think the Council can do any better? Remember it was a council that built the under used Ronwood car park. Auckland just doesn’t need so much office space, and few companies can afford to pay what it costs to build a new office tower.

  • It is my impression that AT has the cheapest casual parking in the city. This provides a disincentive to those contemplating traveling to the city by public transport. I am not impressed that such significant parking assets make such a poor return.

    I don’t accept Nick’s comment that the demand for public transport is almost completely inelastic with respect to price. A simple journey from Albany, where there is a great NEX service is over $10 per day. Younger colleagues in my office seem quite prepared to park in Ponsonby, or any other suburb they can find and make a 15-20 minute walk and make a reasonable saving. Others on this site have spoken of driving a portion of the journey and then bussing the remainder. Surely this suggest that price is an issue – but for how many?

    I have little recent experience of Europe, but the metro systems that I have travelled in South America are very competitively priced and it appears that there are very long zones with a single price. (a little difficult to tell as I speak neither Spanish or Portuguese). Obviously there are many other factors involved, but it is my understanding that the Rio metro opened and almost immediately made a profit and in the much smaller Curitiba, the planned metro is similarly also expected to be profitable from day one. In Santiago a phenomenal 2 million daily trips are made on the metro from a population of 6 million people. (My recollection is that a single unlimited trip was the equivalent of NZ 90cents). And what a phenomenal train service!

    As an aside, one of the reasons for building metro in Rio was that it was prohibitively expensive to build huge roadways through the hills separating the beach suburbs from the central city. Can we draw any sort of comparison with the cost of linking our northern beach cities with the centre city?

    I am most heartened that reducing public transport fares is on the AT agenda. If this occurs along with an increase in car park charging this might well be a game changer for public transport usage.

    • The question is how much cheaper would it have to be for your younger colleagues to switch?

      I wasn’t suggesting that public transport users are inelastic to price, more that non-users are inelastic. Or in other words, some people are quite sensitive to price but far more (perhaps the other 90% of Aucklanders who never use it) don’t use it for non-price reasons.

  • Ari

    The price isn’t a primary issue for me. The fact it takes the times as long by PT than by car is. I expect this is the same for many people. Price is a secondary issue. If parking is free than taking a car is almost always cheaper.

    Manukau is losing a lot of lease parking because of the bus station going in. I’d expect there will be a lot of those leases moving to the empty car park building.

  • john smith

    Some of the discussion seems to be implying that the fair price of publicly owned parking spaces is ‘cover marginal costs’.

    I would say the correct price is ‘what the market will bear’. Government should try to get the best return from its commercial assets, where there is no public good aspect.

    It’s not the government’s job to subsidise people’s parking as they go about their private business any more than it’s the government’s job to pay for their cappucinos when they have a break.

    And if ‘what the market will bear’ is still not enough to give an adequate return on capital, that’s a sign that the site should be redeveloped for better uses.

  • Bryan

    Pictorial Parade No. 98 – Expanding Auckland
    “Pictorial Parade No. 98 – Expanding Auckland” – NFU doumentary showing the ring of car park buildings under construction, “taking cars off the streets and bringing business back to the central area”. It also shows the Northwestern motorway being duplicated at the Whau River. Certainly interesting to see how the “feeling of restless energy” developed over the past 50 years…

  • This is exactly the sort of lunacy that can occur when public organisations run (what should be) private commercial enterprises for no good reason.

    It’s the job of the council to regulate land use markets & the environment, and to provide several essential public goods. It’s not their job to prove their incompetence by making dismal commercial returns on ratepayers’ hard earned money.

    Next thing they’ll be funding celebrity soccer players to come here. Oh, wait…

  • Get Real About PT

    The analysis has been pretty superficial. If we are talking about commuter parking that is one thing. However when it comes to casual parking where a person may be travelling to several destinations many people are unlikely to use PT due to increased travel times. This type of parking is important to support retail and office space.

    People here want to daftly get rid of Downtown carpark. Where will that casual parking go?

    I am a supporter of PT, but people have to be realistic and understand that PT doesn’t always work for every trip every time and therefore 100% travel by active modes and PT is wishful thinking. There appears to be an aspect of social engineering going on here.

    As another angle, shared parking allows the intensification we need in city centre locations. I would far rather see one centralised parking building, rather than a plethora of vehicle crossings servicing parking provided on a site by site basis.

    • Sorry but who claimed PT works every time, and that 100% travel by active modes and PT was either feasible or a goal? And please do tell, what aspect of “social engineering” is going on here?

      The downtown carpark is full of commuters, plain and simple. It’s not particularly good for casual use because it takes you ten or fifteen minutes to work your way into the building, find a park up the top levels, then make your way out on foot.

      So where will that casual parking go, lets see. Fanshawe St carpark: 509 spaces. Viaduct carparking building: 350 spaces. Maritime Carpark: 500 spaces. Old Farmers building carpark (1000 spaces),Tournament Nelson St building (four levels of parking), Tournament Albert St (six levels of parking), Wilsons Albert St (four levels of parking)… There are about five thousand public carparks within 500m of the downtown building.

      Wilsons alone has 82 off-street parking facilities in the CBD that are open to casual users. There are more than enough carparks in the CBD for casual parking.

      I think it is pretty daft to keep a commuter carpark building on one of the most valuable plots of land in the country in the name of casual parking when there are tens of thousands of parks available to causal users nearby.

      Like I mentioned above we have as much parking as the Melbourne CBD which is over three times the size with over three times the population, employment and retailing. In simple numerical terms that’s about 55,000 carparks across all sources. For casual parking that’s enough for about a quarter million visitors a day. Just how many do you think we need?

  • Get Real About PT

    Nick – the argument is far more compelling when that information is provided.

    • Sailor Boy

      Phil it should kind of be a given that someone I tersted in carparking would know that there are carparking buildings all over the cbd.

  • Bryan

    The only CBD carparks I use on any regular basis are the Downtown and Aotea ones, and only ever at nights or weekends. Not sure my wife would feel comfortable using the AT Fanshawe building after dark.

    Having been stung by Sky City with weekday charges on a public holiday, I refuse to give them any more business. :-(

  • Malcolm M

    Perhaps the car parks sold to pay for part of the Council’s CRL ? Any private landholder would maximise the value of such an asset by applying for a zoning change, then preparing a planning application for a skyscraper. Once approved they would have maximised the value uplift available to them with time and limited capital. They would then try to on-sell to a developer, who would benefit by taking over a site with the required approvals in place. Surely this is the approach that should be taken by Council to to maximise the value of its existing assets.

Leave a Reply