Mechanic moves for Mt Eden link
Craig Johns has always had oil and grease running through his veins.
He grew up around cars, and later — together with wife Shayne-Louise — took over Crystal Motors, the mechanic workshop his parents founded in 1968.
But in October last year, big changes were afoot.
The Johns were told they had to move out of their workshop, having earlier sold their land to City Rail Link Limited to make way for the new underground rail network’s Mt Eden station.
“We watched our neighbours move out before we did, we were the last ones standing,” Shayne-Louise said.
“For us, it was, ‘ oh my gosh, this is really happening’.”
“Leaving a place you’ve become so attached to for a very long time, you have to adjust to that change and all the emotions it brings up.”
The Johns had been running their business from the Ruru St workshop in Eden Terrace for 17 years. Yet despite the upheaval, they were happy.
“I can’t speak for anyone else in the area, but we had a really good experience with City Rail Link,” Shayne- Louise said.
“We owned the land and they offered us a really good market rate — and they also covered our expenses for moving.”
After selling, the Johns also continued on in their workshop as CRLL’s tenants for another year and a half. But then CRLL told them it was starting redevelopment work and that they had to go.
Yet, by October last year, just two weeks before the deadline, they still didn’t have a new place to move into. They considered a warehouse in Mt Roskill, but would have had to close for two months to renovate it, something that “financially and cashflow- wise would not have been advisable”.
Luckily, an old panel beaters workshop became available on Kingsland’s New North Rd.
They moved in and Crystal Motors immediately did 30 per cent more business.
“We are on a main road now so we’ve got traffic going past us all the time looking in, and we are around the corner from VTNZ so if people fail their warrant there then
They offered us a really good market rate
Shayne- Louise Johns
they are coming to us for repairs,” she said. The only downside was that with appointments fully booked some of Crystal Motors’ old customers now found it hard to book in as easily as before.
“Let’s hope for all the people living in Auckland city that this whole City Rail Link will eventually be the success Auckland City Council has gone on about for all these years,” she said.