Monday, January 14, 2013

Golden Dawn shifts to town?

Crane next door to Golden Dawn, cnr Ponsonby and Richmond Rds. Photos by Peter McLennan.
Golden Dawn is a popular bar in Ponsonby, but it needs a new home. Only ever intended as a temporary popup bar-type arrangement, the owners have kept it open as I imagine it has proved a good money earner for them.

Redevelopment plans on that site and next door mean it will most likely have to move by the end of summer, according to their Facebook page. The lot adjacent to them has been vacated by the Mini car dealership, and is now a construction site with foundations being drilled, and so on.

Former council depot, corner Wellesley and Nelson sts,
Weighstation pictured below, with Sale St and Glengarrys behind

One rumoured new location for Golden Dawn is at the revamped City Works Depot, in the former weigh station, near the corner of Nelson and Wellesley st (photo above).

[Update, Jan 15: Golden Dawn's Matthew Crawley contacted me via Twitter to say the "Sale St rumour is popular but false + looks like we've got this spot for a while yet."]

[Update Jan 20 - the Sunday Star Times reports that Bauer Media (ex ACP Magazines) has signed up to move in to City Works, and Foodtruck Garage and Al Brown are also confirmed as taking on a lease.]

[Update Jan 30 -NZ Herald's Viva section confirmed today that Al Brown is opening a bagel bakery in City Works, along with a New York-style deli in Federal st.]

After the two previous owners failed to get major redevelopment of the site up and running - most recently with a office/apartment project called Rhubarb Lane - the site is now owned by a car parking company, Tournament Parking, who have previously been using the space for parking for several years, while developers chased finance.

Unfortunately Tournament have stripped the site of all established trees, and painted out the extensive graffiti art murals, so as not to frighten off car owners, or new tenants, like ad agency Y&R, or Brothers Brewery. Al Brown is also rumoured to be starting a new venture there, a Montreal-style bagel joint. The site has major limitations for entertainment venues, as there are hundreds of apartments all round the site, which means noise will be a problem.

It's evolving into a vibrant spot again, after previous incarnations as art gallery spaces or the cafe Deus Ex Machina. But did they have to white out the walls?

Brothers Brewery, excellent spot for a cold beverage or two.

Photos by Peter McLennan.

Wilson Parking have done the same with their upper Symond st parking spot, painting out the graffiti murals that have been there for many years. Those parking companies really love bland walls.

At the time of purchase, last February, James Brown of Tournament told the NZ Herald that "We have no plans to undertake a big redevelopment. Our plan is to restore the existing buildings and then refurbish them."

The depot was originally built for the Auckland City Council in 1968, and designed by Ewen Wainscott. They won awards from the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1969 and 1970. See construction photos here.

1 comment:

Simon said...

Having had an office there for the best part of a decade in the 2000s, it's a wonderful building to look at, but is an absolute nightmare to work in. It's freezing in winter, stinking hot in summer, rattles continuously and has huge audio issues - any sound reverberates throughout.

Various people looked at developing it over the years, using the existing shell, but they always came back to the same conclusion that the way it was built meant that each of the above was going to cost an absolute fortune to resolve.