Apartments Over Papakura Station? Panuku thinks so!

Panuku and Auckland Transport (finally) start seeing the merits of Transit Orientated Developments

This one is a bit of a mixed bag: that is Auckland Transport finally realises that rail and bus stations are great candidates for building apartments over them, the bad news is they want to do this as an excuse to expand park and rides.

However, given the CEO of Auckland Transport’s predecessor gave no effort to Transit Orientated Developments (hence why Manukau Bus Station lacks apartments or offices over it) what we are now seeing with this CEO does give reason for optimism.

Lets take a look from Stuff:

Auckland park and rides: The $1 billion deal

Todd Niall. 09:36, Oct 12 2018

Four Auckland bus stations are on the list for possible commercial development.
RENEE CLAYTON: Four Auckland bus stations are on the list for possible commercial development. SourceL Stuff.co.nz

Auckland Transport is considering a $1 billion plan for thousands of apartments to be built above park and ride sites and bus stations.

The agency said the government’s Kiwibuild programme could be a catalyst, providing homes for key workers and helping to fund thousands of new park and ride spaces.

Consultants PWC have already given a tentative thumbs up to the concept of building three levels of apartments and a multi-storey car park at Papakura railway station.

Documents sought from Auckland Transport by Stuff show the agency is working with fellow council arm, Panuku Development, to assess the market potential of the land.

Early ideas include creating a new entity with commercial goals to deliver the developments, manage parking revenue and eventually pump funds back for infrastructure.

The work has the dual purpose of generating revenue for only partially-funded plans to add 6000 park and ride spaces, while also putting more Aucklanders close to public transport.

AT thought as many as 2500 apartments could be built on under-developed sites used for parking or bus stations

Development plans could be accompanied by charging for park and ride spaces which are presently free.

Auckland Transport is weighing up the potential of development at 10 park and rides, including:

  • Orakei
  • Panmure
  • Constellation
  • Onehunga
  • Homai
  • Manurewa
  • Papakura
  • Sturges Road
  • Henderson
  • Silverdale

The four bus stations are:

  • Akoranga
  • Smales
  • Rosedale
  • A possible new university station

Auckland Transport believes the government’s “Buy off the Plans” component of Kiwibuild could encourage developers, raising the chance of pre-selling apartments.

“The residential offering could be suited to first home buyers, key workers and a range of occupiers,” said PWC in its high level assessment of development at Papakura Station.

Papakura currently offers 330 spaces on bare land, that would rise to 660 under the most viable of three options considered by PWC. Although part of the site is owned by Kiwirail.

There’s already interest in some of the sites, according to an internal Panuku memo.

“A number of credible development companies have approached AT enquiring about the prospect of partnering, to progress one or more of these park and ride development opportunities,” wrote Panuku’s chief operating officer David Rankin.

“In addition to the recent approaches made to AT, Panuku has had considerable market interest in sites used as grade car parks in Panuku priority development locations.”

Auckland Transport said it was continuing to work with Panuku to explore the best way to advance the potential development of suitable sites.

Source: Auckland park and rides: The $1 billion deal

Quite a bit happening here but in essence:

  • Using Auckland Transport surface parking lots as catalysts for development has been floated before (see: Our Manukau Set for Major Development)
  • Building apartments or even mixed use building over stations has been presented to Auckland Council before as a means as creating revenue as well as leveraging new assets to further fund transit expansion (this is how Airport to Botany would be built)
  • Not all park and rides should be expanded (those in urban catchments should not while I can understand those with rural catchments like Papakura should)
  • Yes we should pay for park and rides and Nantes, France does this to a limited extent using their transit cards (or HOP here)
  • I shared the Niall piece to the Papakura community Facebook pages and most were pretty supportive of the scheme even paying for the park and ride if it is secure. There were concerns about localised congestion around the station but this can be easily addressed
  • In undertaking these developments remember: Affordable Housing – A Presentation on Typology and How We Can Not Forget Transport in the Affordability Equation. So just don’t build all apartments over the stations, spice it up a bit and build some commercial services and offices too. Pulling into a station and taking the lift straight up to office would not be lost of employers.

There’s already interest in some of the sites, according to an internal Panuku memo.

I wouldn’t be surprised if another hotel or few sprung up in close proximity of the Manukau Bus Station to make use of transit links (current and future) as well as being close to other civic facilities. The City Centre’s premium rents, prices and lack of space has people and businesses looking for cheaper but well located alternatives. Manukau is one alternative but other areas that have transit and sit inside Metropolitan Centres will attract attention as well.

“In addition to the recent approaches made to AT, Panuku has had considerable market interest in sites used as grade car parks in Panuku priority development locations.”

The surface parking lots in Manukau City Centre have been transferred (or should have by now) from Auckland Transport to Panuku. This has subsequently allowed the prime opportunity for those underutilised lots to be developed which the market by the looks of it has taken a great interest in.

Airport to Botany through Manukau City Centre. Black – Heavy Rail, Blue = busses, Grey = possible LLRT route

In short expect at least a few more cranes in Manukau and hopefully some of our stations soon. How to deliver affordable housing? By building it either over a station or right in the middle of a major Metropolitan Centre.

Aerial photo of Manukau centre. Source: Panuku Development Auckland
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3 thoughts on “Apartments Over Papakura Station? Panuku thinks so!

  1. I lost the plot after “manage parking revenues”. The single biggest reason people don’t use cars to commute is a lack of affordable parking at their destination. Charging for parking as a separate fee from a ride ticket makes the building just another carpark, no longer a park and ride., with the cost of the parking being built into the ticket costs. It’s a package deal!

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