Unitary Plan Rules do restrict placement options
Debate about IKEA (amongst others) coming to New Zealand and especially Auckland has flared up again if this Stuff article was anything to go by:
Ikea, Aldi & Zara: Big brands keeping Kiwis waiting
TAO LIN. Last updated 11:07, October 13 2015
But what about those that seem to have turned a blind eye to their Kiwi fans?
The Scandinavian furniture company is famous for its low cost trendy designs, do-it-yourself assembly and forever keeping Kiwis on their toes as to when they may be opening here.
Rumours about Ikea setting up a physical store in New Zealand have been floating around for years, with the latest being an announcement at the end of last year that the company may start taking internet orders and ship to New Zealand.
It was understood then that Ikea had looked at several locations for a store but were having trouble finding the right one as it needed to be both large and have good links to transport.
A Facebook fanpage dedicated to bringing Ikea to New Zealand expressed disappointment that the new NorthWest Shopping Centre in Auckland did not come with an Ikea.
Many of the page’s more than 17,700 followers took to their keyboards to lament “Why oh why” Ikea was not coming and telling the company to “hurry up and come to NZ!!”
It is a different story across the ditch, with Ikea Australia country manager David Hood unveiling a plan in July to increase store numbers from eight to about 22 over the next few years.
For now, Kiwi furniture lovers plagued with FOMO (fear of missing out) will just have to buy Ikea products from My Flat Pack, Zoomly and some other furniture retailers.
I believe not long ago IKEA were looking at a Mt Wellington site however, the traffic generation and management ran afoul of the current Auckland City Isthmus legacy rules and killed off any establish attempts.
That said the Unitary Plan rules which go live next year will also be technically restricting to where IKEA can as well given the Council is following a Centres=Plus policy with business and retail. Meaning the City Centre and Metropolitan Centres would be preferential for larger retailers (seeming I am talking IKEA) with the General Business Zone, and Identified Growth Corridors taking any overflow as a pressure relief situation. Light Industry zones would as currently proposed out of the question for IKEA to establish in as well given what Council wants the industrial zones for.
So where to establish an IKEA?
The Metropolitan Centres of which there are 10 would be the most logical place to comply with the Centres-Plus focus of the Unitary Plan. Now Westgate Metropolitan Centre has been touted given it is in the middle of no-where at the moment. I am going to leave Westgate alone for now but remember for an IKEA to establish in a Metropolitan Centre both roads AND public transport need to be adequate.
If IKEA are looking for Metropolitan Centre that has a very large catchment and served adequately by public transport and roads then only two come to mind straight off the bat. Albany and Manukau City Centre, both Metropolitan Centres and both as proposed Super Metropolitan Centres (per my submission to the Unitary Plan). Given Albany and Manukau (and the reason why I push for them to be Super Metros) have both good road and public transport access AND sub-regional, regional and inter-regional catchments establish IKEAs in both would seem as Mr Spock would put it ‘logical.’
However, Albany has issues of land ownership fragmentation that Development Auckland, IKEA and existing landowners at Albany would need to sort for an IKEA to establish. This is because IKEA need around 16,000 metres square of floor space minimum or 20,000m2 for optimum conditions. This is something Albany does not have without strong intervention yet. Intervention that will not be happening any time soon looking at this: Panuku Development Auckland’s Big Urban Renewal Development Program #BetterAuckland.
But if you look at that same report Manukau is at the top of the list for Development Auckland intervention (urban renewal) and Council owns still a lot of land in the Manukau City Centre – Super Metropolitan Centre area.
That is Council owned land (managed by Development Auckland) inside the Manukau (Super) Metropolitan Centre.
So we are looking at a 20,000 square metre IKEA and IKEAs like going multi-level if they are in Centres rather than paddocks.
Okay time to zoom in on some of the larger land holdings in Manukau City Centre owned by Council:
And closer up
How it works is the following:
- Car parks and land is owned by the Council and leased back to Scentre who own the mall to the left.
- The two light Cyan parcels are there for two large format retailers
- The smaller northern parcel is 5,800m2 and ideally Pak n Save would relocate here
- The larger 8,700m2 piece is where a two or three storey IKEA would go giving a maximum floor space of 26,000m2
- Car parking is multi-level under the stores
- Blue is small retailers surrounding bigger retailers to avoid triggering Blank Wall provisions in the Unitary Plan
- Red is where I had placed a Hotel or Office complex
- Green is an arcade connecting the mall to the new retailers and Great South Road
- Buses and Trains are at the Manukau Interchange about 700 metres to the west although further bus stops would be on Ronwood Avenue to the north and Manukau Station Road to the south
- The Motorway interchanges are the following:
- Te Irirangi Drive
- Manukau State Highway 1 Interchange
- Manukau State Highway 20 – Lambie Drive Interchange
- Wiri Heavy Industry Complex is about two kilometres to the west and south west and ideal for IKEA distribution plants.
- If IKEA and Council are ambitious extra levels for more retailing, office or even apartments could be built over the IKEA store.
- Manukau City Centre currently has an Auckland catchment servicing 545,000 people as of 2013. This does not include the northern Waikato.3
Panuku Development Auckland?
As noted here: Panuku Development Auckland’s Big Urban Renewal Development Program #BetterAuckland Development Auckland and the Auckland Development Committee are getting ready to whittle down from nine to three urban areas of Auckland for Type 1 intervention. Type 1 being like Waterfront Auckland overseeing Wynyard Quarter’s renewal (long-term, Council public works, and public-private partnerships with residential and commercial development).
Manukau is at the top of that list as seen below:
The meaning of the score types can be seen in the respective blog post.
Note the following high individual score points for Manukau:
- Community Readiness
- Community Facilities
- Deprivation Index
- Maori Wellbeing
- Capital Complexity
- Land and Influence
- Council Owned Opportunities
- Site Fragmentation
- Capacity (redevelopment floor space)
- Accessibility to cars or public transport
As far as I see it if Panuku Development Auckland, Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, and the Auckland Development Committee were to engage in a Waterfront Auckland style development partnership that would also satisfy The Southern Initiative requirements on employment and Maori wellbeing through employment and economic output*, then a possible partnership with IKEA into Manukau City Centre might be the key to unlock Manukau even further.
*Economic output (in an area that has a high Maori population base) not only through direct training and employment with IKEA Manukau, but also wider effects such as employment through an IKEA distribution plant in Wiri, logistics movements of the freight for IKEA, and maybe manufacturing potential if IKEA are “encouraged” to also stock NZ manufactured goods.
And if IKEA were good they would do home delivery (for a fee) which means if I caught the train from Papakura to Manukau (hopefully via the South Link) then I could walk to IKEA, browse, purchase goods and then have it delivered to my home while I continue shopping elsewhere in Manukau before taking the train home and not giving two perverbal monkeys about traffic and parking ^_^ . Win for me, win for IKEA, win for Manukau, win for the well transit system.