Friday, June 5, 2009


Sitting at The Williamson Cafe in Grey Lynn is no longer the experience it once was. Across the road is a huge abandoned construction site which is where one of [EYE] ON AUCKLAND'S favourite projects was starting to rise - [SOHO SQUARE]. That was until a witch hunt was launched by none other than Graeme Easte and selfish members of the community aka nimby's (not in my back yard) who endlessly campaigned to put a stop to it without thinking of the implications that it may have on the welfare of many families involved in this project.

The community in question (repressed mentality brigade) would rather live in a light industrial wasteland, delusional of the fact that they live in a city which grows and evolves over time. Auckland (yes that includes Grey Lynn | Ponsonby) is NOT some lifestyle block trapped in a time capsule. Densification is the only way for cities to move forward and Soho Square offers an exceptional leisure, entertainment, living and working environment close to public transport (practically surrounded by bus stops).

We are sick and tired of hearing the same old song from the same old people that rear their ugly heads every time somebody tries to invest in an area:

1. [VIEWS] You live in a city and your view is never guaranteed unless you live on a cliff facing the ocean, you are higher up than the heritage listed building in front of you OR you face a registered parkland. Even more ridiculous is that fact that city apartment dwellers are under the impression that skyscrapers should not be built in front of their apartment - this is the CBD people. The same can be said for commercially zoned areas fronting onto your property (in this case I am willing to bet that these are the very same whingers who live miles from [SOHO SQUARE]. Catch a wake up people and smell the coffee.

2. [SHADOWS] What about that tree in your front or back garden, are you going to chop it down because it casts a shadow over your house ? Shadows move by the second and change according to the seasons. Shadows do NOT remain in one spot 24/7 ... it is just a shadow people, nothing to be scared of. You should be taking down your roof , it is the monster that casts a shadow over you 24/7.

3. [HERITAGE BUILDINGS] So what if you are in some heritage listed building right next door to [SOHO SQUARE]. Should everything around you just stop ? Is it a time capsule ? European cities build around and above heritage buildings which are in fact way older than the buildings in Grey Lynn | Ponsonby. Stop fooling yourselves, most landlords couldn't care a damn, heritage buildings in the Grey Lynn | Ponsonby area are falling apart and can do with a good clean up and a lick of paint - nobody complains about the state of these "loved" buildings. Where were all of you "good Samaritans" when they built those hideous structure from the 50's 60's and 70's. I guess that it is okay because it brings back memories of your "glory" days in your weather beaten bach. We have news for you - not all of us love unspohisticated areas and a leaky bach.

4. [DENSIFICATION | HEIGHT] Oh dear oh dear. The very same people that moan about the cutting down of forests and green fields are the very same people that moan about building heights and densification. Sprawl is not sustainable people, densification and mixed use is - the very thing proposed by the developers of [SOHO SQUARE]. European cities are proof of this. So you are going to see a building on the horizon, does the view of your neighbours wall or rooftop also get you into a flutter. You are sitting at some pavement cafe in Ponsonby Road and you see the city skyline, does it get your knickers in a knot ? How pathetic !

5. [TRAFFIC] This really gets us laughing. The very same people that are against the traffic "increase" are the very same people who won't get caught dead catching a bus or trying to burn those extra calories (and you know who you are) by walking a few extra miles. Oh deary me, they would rather hop into their gas guzzling motor cars and try to run every other cyclist or pedestrian down. Why don't you practice what you preach and use the public transport or even better get off your arses and walk. We are sick of having to breathe in your car fumes.

We spend a lot of money in the Grey Lynn | Ponsonby area and we would like to know who these selfish people are that campaigned against the [SOHO SQUARE] development so that we can boycott them once and for all. I hope that their conscience is clear and that they can sleep at night, you are the very people that have helped many families seek benefits in these difficult times. Thanks to your out-dated views many people are going hungry because you took a chance away from them and we have to look at that great big hole every time we walk down Williamson Avenue. SHAME on all of you !

What we could have enjoyed:


  1. The Historic Places Trust did originally make a submission on this development expressing some concerns about effects on nearby heritage buildngs. However, the redesign satisfied their concerns and they didn't actually attend the hearing.

    So from that perspective there weren't actually intractable heritage issues with the development. Furthermore, the resource consent decision DID decline the proposal, but on very specific grounds that could have been pretty easily sorted out through Environment Court mediation.

    I don't know what happened beyond that though.

  2. so whats gonna happen to it?????:(

  3. @ Jarbury - thanks for the info mate. Do you know where I can find a list of all the submitters who are against the development ?

    @ Anonymous - I think that the developers have spent so much money on resource consent, redesign and fighting the nimby's that they are now either broke, not interested in the Ponsonby | Grey Lynn area and/or waiting for their financial position to improve. I hope that it is the latter. Thanks for the comment.

  4. thank you!
    I drive past it often. Having been in London for the past two years, I assumed it was going to be a nice new development, and I was most upset to read that it is indefinitely stalled because of submissions against it.

  5. You are more than welcome. It must break your heart to see that huge and ugly hole in the ground. I am hoping that things will change next year and that it will rise once again. Cross fingers.

  6. Who owns the land? Is it still in the hands of the same developers? Regardless, I think the economic problems would have delayed it regardless, so I am guessing whether it happens on not will take some time for the economy to sort itself out.

  7. Hi can I use your picture composite in a local publication?

  8. Those stupid idiots who complained about Soho Square going ahead have robbed us of a fabulous NEW addition to our suburb. We've had to put up with a gaping big crater for years, the only highlight being the "Bumper Boats Are Coming" tongue in cheek posters that were displayed on the surrounding fenceline.

    We've been robbed of a visionary venue of mixed living, working, shopping, entertaining.

    Where do these stupid people think 30,000 people propose to live in the CBD? The growth can't be stifled, it can't be stopped; it will happen and these new residents will need venues to shop, work, be entertained.

    I was so looking forward to the new Soho Square just down the road from where I live and now I'll end up with ANOTHER unwanted grocery outlet.


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