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The Wynyard Quarter: From petrol tanks to lattes, theatre and beyond

Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter has become a popular on-trend destination for tourists, families, explorers, foodies and all other walks of life. But it wasn’t always destined to be what we know it as today! It’s origins are far more industrial.

What was it built for?

The Wynyard Quarter is an area of reclamation extending into the Waitemata Harbour on the Auckland waterfront, between St Marys Bay and the Viaduct Basin. It was established by the Auckland Harbour Board and is now administered by the Ports of Auckland.

Initially it provided additional boat berthage and areas for general port activities. However this ultimately evolved into domination of petro-chemical storage, hence the less than glamorous label ‘Tank Farm’ being coined! The sand mining and the cement industry have also had involvement in the area. This is now all changing!

What is it going to be?

The 37 kilometre area has close to three kilometres of coastline is intended to be an Auckland flagship regeneration project. The regeneration intends to transform an industrial port area which was a ‘no go’ area for the public, into a vibrant and vital residential, commercial and entertainment hub.

However it still successfully co-exists with the remaining fishery and marine industries that continue to operate in the area, and also contributes to the infectious ‘buzz’ of activity.

What can you do now?

Recently the Wynyard Quarter turned six years old. It is interesting to pause and take stock on what the area currently provides but also what the future might hold.

Both visitors and locals can enjoy the pleasant atmosphere created by the flourishing strip of restaurants and cafes. They can take part in the events, exhibitions and markets held at Silo Park, where giant containers formerly used for holding cement are unapologetically incorporated into a wide ranging and intensively used public space. This includes the popular Silo Cinema events where movies are projected onto the side of Silo Seven, staging a very unique open air cinema experience for public attendees.

If an indoor venue is more your style, you can catch an Auckland Theatre Company play at the purpose built ASB Waterfront Theatre which seats 660 people. You can take a 15 minute trip on the dockline tram which begins at the Wynyard Quarter and completes a loop between the Viaduct Basin and the Viaduct Marina.

You can also take a stroll or cycle across the impressive Te Wero Bridge. Boat watch, or ponder the mechanics of the bridge as it lifts to let vessels pass into the Viaduct Harbour.

What does the future hold?

Going forward, there will be the introduction of residential development. This will see 600 apartments, duplexes and townhouses built. There will also be the proposed development of thousands of square metres of commercial space in the centre of Wynyard Quarter, and a five star hotel.

A revitalised streetscape is also an integral part of any urban regeneration project. Daldy and Jellicoe Streets are completed street environments which demonstrate how attention to detail can create an amazing space.

Paving, landscape treatment and street furniture have created a great aesthetic and pedestrian and cycle activity is welcomed. This enhances the ‘sense of place’ and the enjoyment of experiencing the area.

Other streets within the Wynyard Quarter are earmarked for a similar ‘make-over’ and laneways are proposed between Madden and Pakenham Streets. This will also increase pedestrian accessibility and will feed the vitality and vibrancy of the area.

What is Wynyard Point?

There is an exciting future development on the cards - ‘Wynyard Point’. This will follow the expiry of several long-term leases in the next five to 10 years, and holds exciting opportunities for an iconic Auckland public space or facility to be established at the very seaward extent of the Wynyard Quarter.

The transformation of the area to date has been interesting to observe so far, but we have only sampled a taste of this, there is much more to come! It’s an exciting example of redeveloping brownfields areas into mixed use, vibrant and attractive spaces.

Disclaimer As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. Planning Plus is not liable for any errors or omissions.

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