Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The uncooling of the inner West

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  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don’t see how placing even fewer limits on capital gains is going to ease the housing bubble – quite the reverse, in fact. And allowing rental agreements to be even looser in the landlord’s favour is the opposite of the kind of long-term occupancy Sam was talking about.

    Try the other end of that stick Russell. I want more restrictions.

    The problem with lots of apartments being built is that the majority are bought by landlords rather than owner occupiers. The high density housing that you favour in central areas will likely remain to of the reach of the market you would target. Those new 1 and 2 bedders in Grey Lynn could hardly be called starter homes for a young family.

    Change may come in many forms. Perhaps satellite communities on the North Shore, South and West Auckland will spring up that will foster the cultural phenomena that happened in Ponsonby/Grey Lynn. Society is fracturing so holding on to some old paradigm of a minimum size for a viable community seems less valid. I'm hardly an expert on NZ music scene but isolation and a cheap cost of living didn't seem to serve Dunedin too badly in the past. Maybe the Ranui Sound is the next big thing.

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Why can this culture not develop in those areas like it did in Grey Lynn, Ponsonby and Point Chev?

    It doesn’t seem to. I last lived in Auckland in 2007, and recall Onehunga (as an example upcoming suburban centre) as a grotty street with mostly dollar stores and junk food outlets (chain and independent, but all revolting). Went there in August, and it hasn’t changed much in seven years – one half decent but characterless cafe.

    (The difference in the cafes and outlets in somewhere like Cuba St or Ponsonby as was is the attitude of the people. Working to earn a living, sure, but also enjoying it. The other kind of outlet, which seems to prevail in Auckland, the staff (and owners) are there to punch the clock and earn a dollar, and this is obvious to all).

    Not to mention the lack of bars outside the centre. Clearly a hard path to plough - you either make the place determinedly old-dear oriented, or you'll get the sort of vibrant youths that wreck the furnishings and threaten your license. That, or dead eyed pokie addicts.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Stephen R,

    I think Lianne said on the radio that they hope it would be self-sustaining once it's up and running.

    Which it would as long as the amount borrowed is not huge. Maintenance is not a massive cost, especially if it is carried out by the corporation and not tendered out to profit making companies. Rents are, at the moment, running at about the same level, if not higher, as the interest on borrowing for the property and subsidies are available from MSD for those that cannot afford market rents and qualify.
    So it would not be unreasonable for the project to, eventually, become self funding.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    bars in many areas are constrained by licensing issues and license trusts - some of the most depressing drinking options avail. are found under the trusts

    Ponsonby is rare in that its main street wasn't and still isn't dominated by the same chain stores many other suburbs are - New Lynn, as an example, could be cool given the transport options... will it, doubtful cause of the soul-less nature of the chainstore centric shopping centre/transport hub. Move away from that and its all big shed retail land - an area for interesting retail/cafes to flourish and spark anything other than a generic consumer culture, hells no

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison,

    Grey Lynn on a Saturday afternoon in the 1990’s felt like being in haight ashbury, especially on summer days. That’s gone.

    The Villas are generally close together. People staring in your bedroom from 2 metres away.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeh, It was an ad for B and T. It’s not really on as an article. He’s a salesman, hes hyping his industry because he wants sales and he is talking out of his arse about generational character.

    Jesus,stop making out that the bayboomers were fiscal saints, they never were. They spent like crazy fuckers. I was there.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    and it hasn’t changed much in seven years

    Maybe it will and maybe it won't. If you can make a foolproof prediction then you should be a developer. I was told the same thing about Kingsland in 1996. Russell's Point Chev took from 1984. Perhaps Onehunga needs a few more years.

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Lyall, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    These days it is hard enough even getting a coffee after 8pm anywhere outside the CBD, K Road or Mt Eden.

    Areas like New Lynn have the disadvantages compared to Ponsonby:

    * Not being central for other areas in Auckland (so can't supplement their own locals).
    * Not having ready-built groups of students, workmates already assembled.
    * Their own locals get home late if they work/study in town
    * Lower density nearby their are not as many locals in walking distance

    To have a hub you have to imagine the what you want ( eg Bars, Music venues, cafes, whatever) and then work out how you can attract (or even physically get) the people there to support them. It is doable but hard to do from scratch somewhere without density or good transport links.

    Build up 10% of the city to take 50% of the population who wants the "interesting" stuff and leave the rest of it for the boomers who just want to watch Coro Street and mow the lawns in the $1.5m Mac Mansions on weekends.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to bob daktari,

    constrained by licensing issues and license trusts

    Yup, like the red line that's been drawn around the Newtown area by Wellington City Council declaring it a "problem drinking area" where bars must shut at midnight. Fortunately my fave bar is just on the north side of this, where people can be trusted to sip Sav Blanc or quaff APA until 3am.

    I suspect the next step will be a fence.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    Try the other end of that stick Russell. I want more restrictions.

    Ah. We’re agreed on that, then.

    Change may come in many forms. Perhaps satellite communities on the North Shore, South and West Auckland will spring up that will foster the cultural phenomena that happened in Ponsonby/Grey Lynn. Society is fracturing so holding on to some old paradigm of a minimum size for a viable community seems less valid.

    Yeah, there’ll always be suburban scenes, but there’s lots of evidence that a more concentrated city is more interesting than a sprawl. It’s just a really big demographic shift in a short time, and I think I’m entitled to a view that it’s going to make my ’hood less interesting.

    I’m hardly an expert on NZ music scene but isolation and a cheap cost of living didn’t seem to serve Dunedin too badly in the past. Maybe the Ranui Sound is the next big thing.

    Dunedin still has unbelievably cheap houses, though – and the kind of central city spaces that can be hired for cheap as practice rooms. So it’s not like you need to move away from where everything is clustered.

    I actually know a couple of people who’ve moved to Dunedin recently in pursuit of a more easily-sustained life.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    Jesus,stop making out that the bayboomers were fiscal saints, they never were. They spent like crazy fuckers. I was there.

    Everyone had a great time!

    But quite a lot of them now are happily in million-dollar houses that cost them $30,000. There's that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to bob daktari,

    Ponsonby is rare in that its main street wasn't and still isn't dominated by the same chain stores many other suburbs are -

    The was a reason for that. Ponsonby was a poor area dominated by the Pacific community, students and the bohemian sector of Auckland, hence no market for the big stores which were, anyway, just down the hill on Queen Street.
    Ponsonby followed the usual pattern inner urban decay. First it was an area of cheap workers housing serving the Docks and the industries that were served by them. Once those industries moved away to newer, more modern facilities, that were serviced by new roads, rail and more efficient transport, then the rot set in.
    From that point it followed in the footsteps of places like West Palm Beach

    By the early 1990s there were very high vacancy rates downtown, and serious levels of urban blight.

    Since the 1990s, developments such as CityPlace and the preservation and renovation of 1920s architecture in the nightlife hub of Clematis Street have seen a downtown resurgence in the entertainment and shopping district. The city has also placed emphasis on neighborhood development and revitalization, in neighborhood districts such as Northwood Village, Old Northwood, Flamingo Park and El Cid.

    As the area went down hill (not literally of course or it would have ended up in the gasworks that dominated the bottom of College Hill, later to become Victoria park market but that is another part of another story) houses became cheaper and the slumlords moved in. This actually suited the bohemian community which expanded into a hotbed of creativity with cafes, such as the Open Late and the growth of entertainment at the notorious Gluepot
    The changing of the liquor laws in the late eighties and early nineties saw an explosion of bars and cafes which attracted the notice of the nouveau riche, the yuppies if you will.
    And that, my friend, was the beginning of the end. The uncooling had begun.
    You see, once the "cool" people arrive the uncool wanabees start to buy their way in and from then on, its all about the money.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    Perhaps Onehunga needs a few more years.

    I guess it harks back to ,anything on the Northern slopes. North of Mt Albert Road has always done fine. Southside, not so much. Good access to transport is the first thing that enables peeps to venture out past their desired area and good eats gives an area a sense of community. I think the $2 stores are the handy shops in a suburb. They supply so many bits and bobs, odd stuff and quirky stuff and haloween stuff and nail polish and school shit and glue an' all sorts that you need when you least expect it. Plus I like diversity in an area and if the Chinese are there in a $2 shop you can betcha the real estate will climb.
    Penrose and Mt Wellington will be forging ahead. Major roadworks and Trains are all updated and good food is happening and major shopping in Sylvia park has all the retail shops in the area.. I'd say that will be good real estate to invest in. Its close to water also. They have also started removing Glen Innes state housing. So that will create new housing close to good schools as well. It's gotta be up and coming if you want a good spot to live.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Donne, in reply to Dastardly Bounder,

    Avondale might be a bit different. Around the town centre is zoned for much greater density and some apartments are already being built.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    house of the rising sum...
    I'm assured by 'people-who-know' that Chchch house prices will just continue to rise and rise - sounds like inhumane madness to me ...
    What other value system could we use aside from money?

    ps Buy Nothing Day is coming up on Nov 29

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to Russell Brown,

    and I think I’m entitled to a view that it’s going to make my ’hood less interesting.

    And I agree with and welcome your opinion - it's just that your tone reminded me of my fuddy-duddy parents bemoaning the fact that their new neighbours lead a 'different' life to theirs. They will probably vote for UKIP next year. Can't pick family...

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeh that’s called community. It’s horrible to move community a lot of the time. It’s great to have a patch.

    The reality of migration in 2014 means Apartments need to be built very fast in Auckland. They need to be excellent in design, they need to be world-class for privacy, we need to understand how to live civically in apartments and the first three huge apartment blocks must be in Epsom because that’s where populace needs to be to service Auckland’s economy. Treasure the inner-city community, welcome world-class apartment towers. Epsom first.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Donne,

    Leave Avondale alone. Getting out of the west is a nightmare. Avondale needs more local business as does all the west. I’ve traveled.

    The business is in central and east and while the workers flow all over the city ,in the morning and evenings they are coming and going from workplaces.

    Epsom is the natural breadbasket of the efficient Auckland workforce.Our first apartment city, meeting the needs of our growing economy, thank you Epsom. It’s gonna rock. Although seriously where are the living towers being built and when?

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    first three huge apartment blocks must be in Epsom because that’s where populace needs to be to service Auckland’s economy

    Why?
    Again this seems to assume that the CBD is the centre of all activity in Auckland. I wish people would have a good drive around all the outlying suburbs and see the vast numbers of small businesses that surround us. Sure, they are mostly SMEs but the numbers of employees must be staggering when totalled up. All the roads around Auckland are jammed at rush hour - not just in and out of the CBD

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    We need to house Auckland. Apartments are the way. We are now a metro. The CBD is naturally going to be a hub, that's civics.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    ps Buy Nothing Day is coming up on Nov 29

    T'other just said I'd been talking about gravy boats for a month.Fact is I cant find one I like ....yet. Because I dont eat meat , gravy skipped my mind for a recent b'day so my hunt continues but today I managed op shop shot glasses and mini casserole dishes and now I have an idea for a handmade South African piece that deserves to be a gravy boat in a couple of weeks. I better make sure its before buy nothing day eh ? ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    Epsom is the natural breadbasket of the efficient Auckland workforce.

    Does this sentence come with epaulettes?

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    It could be argued that Auckland doesn't have the vision or desire for mid- to high-density housing. The fiasco from 2000 up to the GFC illustrates that well. The construction of apartment buildings in the CBD was the right move but the objectives--profit as the priority driven by an uninformed public who cannot see another direction to invest in their financial security--resulted in the construction in trash. The same phenomenon could be seen in Japan in the 1980s/90s. Now, with depreciation being the norm after 20+ years, developers have no choice but to offer higher quality dwellings to make a sale.

    The issue in Auckland is that developers with the resources and vision barely exist compared to Japan. The only solution it would seem is for the government to take charge, which would see the deficit explode and existing property prices to fall or flat-line. Good for the young and the future but anathema for those whose wealth is tied up in residential property. Of course, without the productive capacity of NZ companies, it would likely require Asian developers to achieve this.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Fortunately my fave bar is just on the north side of this

    Tough night at the Office? ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2931 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    epaulettes

    I had to look that word up.

    No, its just civics. It’s maths, science in a way. So you can move to your workplace without leaving too many suburbs. I didn’t design Auckland. It’s a study of the civic structure, which is what this post is about. Auckland is big-sizing fast.
    It’s a big issue. Having a home. Suburbs are filling up too, I agree. It’s filling up,hence the crazy market for houses.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

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