K’Rd: From strip clubs to bou­tiques

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CA­TRIN OWEN

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.

NEVILLE MAR­RINER

Karanga­hape Rd used to be a main shop­ping des­ti­na­tion for many Auck­lan­ders.

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