Costs spiral for AT’s Brightside refurbishment

Costs for making the Auckland Transport-owned property at 1 Brightside Rd habitable are spiralling, with the discovery of “degraded structural items” under the building.

The Stanmore Bay site was purchased by the former Rodney District Council for work associated with Penlink. It is leased by Auckland Council’s property arm, Panuku Development on behalf of Auckland Transport (AT).

When the dairy and residential part of the property were vacated late last year, it needed such major repairs that it was unable to be re-let until those were completed and Panuku is currently seeking cost estimates for the work.

Panuku’s portfolio management director, Ian Wheeler, says the discovery of structural issues has increased the cost and additional estimates are being sought.

Prior to this discovery, refurbishment of the building had been due to begin at the end of June.
Cr Wayne Walker is concerned that significant money could be spent on the former dairy when AT has yet to work out its plans for that stretch of road.

He hopes that 1 Brightside Rd could be used to improve the intersection onto Whangaparaoa Road, which he describes as hazardous.

This could be part of a plan, yet to be developed, associated with 23 nearby properties that AT wants put up for sale – at 472 Whangaparaoa Rd to 6 Brightside Rd (HM May 8). Sale of those properties was deferred, following protests from the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board board and councillors.

Cr Walker says when he and Cr John Watson met AT last month, it became clear that AT has no plans for that stretch of Whangaparaoa Rd.

“We pointed out the need for a slip lane, the lack of any provision for pedestrians on one side and the need to reshape the corner,” Cr Walker says.

“It is also an opportunity to improve the Brightside Rd intersection and ensure AT has adequate land for a retaining wall as the land has stability issues. As they don’t have any plans or designs yet for that intersection, it doesn’t make any sense to spend money on the dairy building until you know what you are doing long term. The Men’s Shed, which leases another part of 1 Brightside Rd, offered to do inexpensive repairs to retain and use the building in the medium term, and that is far better than what is being proposed. It’s a classic example of various parts of Council not being in sync, which could result in money being wasted and poor community outcomes.”

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