K’Rd: From strip clubs to boutiques
Mention Karangahape Rd to almost anyone in New Zealand and they’ll probably know something about it.
They might know the infamous strip clubs and gay bars or the boutique shops and edgy artists.
However, over the decades K’ Rd has changed dramatically.
Today, K’ Rd is transforming to what some would say is a new Ponsonby, with apartment buildings and upmarket eateries opening up.
Edward Bennett is the heritage advisor for the Karangahape Road Business Association and has seen the road breathe new life as the years rolled on.
‘‘It used to be the major shopping street for Auckland.’’
He first encountered K’ Rd in the 70s when there were a lot of Pacific Island shops.
Roy Ward is the owner of second-hand bookshop The Green Dolphin in St Kevin’s Arcade.
He has seen an increasing exodus of the smaller shops move out due to the rent increases.
‘‘With the new apartments and the railway station there will be a different mix of people and rent will go up but the alternative is empty shops.
The reintroduction of a lot of people living on or off K’ Rd has been a main factor in the gentrification of the street, Bennett says.
Karangahape Rd used to be a main shopping destination for many Aucklanders.