Questions about Soho
A HALT in activity at Ponsonby’s Soho Square development is causing concern.
Auckland city councillor Graeme Easte says the lack of action on the site, bordering Williamson Ave, Crummer Rd and Pollen St, is “certainly suspicious”.
He says at a meeting between the Auckland City Council and Soho Square developers Marlin Group this month, project leader Paul Hudson assured the council the lull in work was nothing more than a break between construction phases.
Work was due to resume by the end of August providing Marlin Group was granted resource consent for the second stage of the project, says Mr Easte.
Marlin Group has consent for the first stage, allowing building to go 15 metres high and including 11 apartments. It has applied for consent for the second stage, which will permit the building to rise to 31.73 metres and include 53 apartments.
A sign outside the development advertises the leasing of stage two.
But Mr Easte says the council has “stopped the clock” on the consent application because it needs more information, mainly about traffic. “The ball is in the developer’s court,” he says.
Ponsonby resident Darcy Miller lives near the site and says there has been no change for weeks.
He is also concerned the number of huts on the site has gone from four to one.
“There’s no work being done at all,” he says. “It’s just a big puddle.” Mr Miller says he has safety concerns over steel reinforcements in the concrete, which are rusting.
“It’s definitely not structurally finished,” he says.
Mr Miller says though the site is fenced, kids could climb over and get in.
When contacted by the Auckland City Harbour News Mr Hudson asked for questions to be emailed but did not respond.
Mr Easte says he can’t believe the excavation has taken as long as it has.
Last month Strategic Finance, which loaned money for construction of carparks and some building works, announced it would no longer be funding the project.
Although Mr Easte says he and the Western Bays Community Board are not opposed to the development, he hopes it will come to a head soon.