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This month I've been thinking a little bit like old Felicity Ferret. With all the good things happening around our neck of the woods I thought I would do some digging and provide information on some exciting whispers I've heard that will only increase this excitement for local Channel readers.
The good things I've been thinking about is the progress made on the design of the playground that will be built on the Takapuna Beach (Gould) reserve this year. See my interview with the designer Philippa Bollond in this issue. Just along The Strand are the three new hospitality outlets that feature on our cover for this issue – Francs, Tokyo Bay and Regatta. They have sure made the Takapuna Beach front come alive this summer. But wait, there's more!
I heard a whisper that the popular eatery Bird on a Wire will be coming to Takapuna, to the "40th & Hurstmere" development taking shape opposite Hurstmere Green on Hurstmere Road. Popular Ponsonby Central pizza joint Dante's is rumoured to also be part of that complex, along with El Humero and Kombi Coffee. We understand there will be four or five quality eateries in this laneways type development.
What I have also heard is that there is a plan in the pipeline to redevelop the Anzac Street carpark area (with a good carpark I presume?), at the same time demolishing the building that was Postie Plus (now Designstore) to create a link from Shore City right through to the beach. The final part of the jigsaw would be the council acquiring the Colmar Brunton building, demolishing it so this beach link continues through Hurstmere Green right through to the beach, near the new playground – how special would that be? The desire of many is also to make Hurstmere Road a shared space road, still able to be accessed by essential vehicles, but very much a space for pedestrians and shoppers.
The drums are beating strongly that Josh Emett will open a Madam Woo outlet in Takapuna in the large space that was once EasiBuy, but has been vacant for some time. In fact their website says that this will be open in early 2015 (at 486 Lake Road). The space needs a lot of work, but I heard Madam Woo may be using some upstairs space in the building, as well as the ground floor, which will open out toward the adjacent car park. Exciting!
The word also is the shop that was previously Paper Plus is becoming two spaces for House of Travel (relocating from Anzac Street) and a prominent insurance company.
The Wiltshire Property Group have been doing wonderful things in Takapuna, starting with the McKenzies Precinct a few years ago, and more recently extending along to developing many of the shops between McKenzies and the corner that is now home to the bigger Michael Hill Jeweller store. New stores have gone in there recently for Ebbeke & Co. Jewellers, Lets Get Outside and I am told "something cool" is going to happen with the back of the old Annah Stretton store in the same block.
Now that the dentists have gone from the back of Partner's Life House (and the Wiltshire Property Group office has moved to the Colmar Brunton building) another little birdie told me that the Wiltshire plan is to extend the McKenzie Precinct through to Partners Life House, linking with Hurstmere Green. Apparently two 'funky' hospo or retail tenancies will be established – wouldn't it be great if one was home Adrian Chilton's and Mimi Gilmours next Burger Burger outlet! The dated deck by the old dentist is set to be transformed I believe with a 'Britomart feel' including a light canopy and plantings.
I have also heard that internet company Orcon will be moving into the council building on The Strand in Takapuna and bringing 200 staff with them.
While it is a little controversial, I personally can't wait until the new yachting and water sports facility is built on the northern end of Takapuna Beach with 85% of the land becoming public reserve. The latest plans are sensational. The consent process is under way for this.
The excitement for me also extends to Milford. It is a buzzing place these days with lots of new businesses and full tenancies and Milford Mall doing very well. I also understand that recent images unveiled on the revised plans for the development of 120 residential apartments (and an extension to the mall) on the site have been pretty well received by locals. It is highly likely that work will start on this project during 2015.
More great news for Milford is that the dated New World store closes in mid March and a brand new New World Supermarket will be built on the site. Another real shot in the arm for the area.
Exciting times in paradise!
Channel Magazine: Issuu 51 February 2015