The vision for New Lynn hatched more than a decade ago by the old Waitakere City Council, is becoming real.
The plan called for the town centre to be revitalised with more apartments bringing more people to live and work locally, creating a “night time economy” with shops, bars and restaurants, and thousands more people wanting to use public transport.
It was to be a Transport Oriented Development, that would be sparked by placing the railway line and station in a trench below street level where it passes through New Lynn. This would mean trains and vehicles could cross each other at different levels, allowing traffic to flow freely at ground level and trains to run every 10 minutes or so between Swanson and the CBD.
This idea was based partly on an identical concept in Subiaco in Perth, where the railway was put into a trench where it passed through a languishing shopping centre. This removed a barrier to business and residential growth and Subiaco town centre began to prosper almost immediately.What was true in Perth is now being shown to be true in New Lynn.
There was to be a Merchants Quarter as part of the “grand plan” and a decade on, the Merchants Quarter is rising. The trench is dug, the trains are running regularly and next year will be electrified, the bus interchange is operating alongside the station, the fantastic new medical centre opened last year and now the most recent development, the 10 storey Merchant Quarter apartment tower has opened and is already completely sold.
The top floor of the 110 apartment tower block is actually 15 storeys above ground because the 10 storey tower sits atop the five storey carpark building. Developed by Tasman Cook the tower is fully tenanted and the view from the top is magnificent.
Next out of the blocks will be the unique Merchant Quarter Mews, a ‘street in the sky’ concept of apartments soon to be built alongside the tower on the roof of the five storey carpark. The Mews will have 18 double storey and two single storey maisonette apartments built on either side.