Friday, April 08, 2016

Kings Arms for the chop?

The latest announcement of Special Housing Areas by the Auckland Council include 59 France St. The clever folk at Cheese On Toast spotted that's the current location of legendary Auckland live venue, the Kings Arms. Based on the Council's website, it sounds likely to be demolished and replaced by apartments:

According to the Auckland Council website:

“The development at 59 France Street South is for approximately 60 new apartments over 3 years. The affordable homes within the development will be priced at between $450,000 and $675,000.

The apartment development will also provide a mix of housing types, matched to current shortages, including smaller one-bedroom units and larger two-bedroom units.

The land is currently occupied by a two level commercial building and car park. It is zoned Mixed Use under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, which was notified on 30 September 2013.

Urban Collective are pleased to be included in an SHA noting that there is an intention to have the first residential housing ready for habitation by 2019, with the entire development completed by 2019.”

A quick search reveals Urban Collective as property developers, specialising in high end developments.

UPDATED: Russell Brown at Public Address reports that "According to records, the building at 59 France Street, Newton, is owned by the same people who have owned it since 1993: James Sclater, Susan DeGuara and Maureen Patricia Gordon – aka Maureen from the King’s Arms. They are also the shareholders in the King’s Arms business, PG Gordon Limited."

Brown also reports that an apparently knowledgeable source says: "Maureen has no intention to sell at this point. The council can’t do sh*t as she owns the land outright … Maureen’s furious at the council."

Brown also says that "One theory is that the developer may have applied for SHA status to increase the value of the property to pressure a sale."

So it appears Urban Collective's intention to build apartments on that site may not be clear cut. The SHA mentioned covers two titles, the Kings Arms, and the nearby gym.

UPDATE 2:  Brown has done some further digging: "I checked the title on the other two properties in the SHA, 11 and 13 Karaka Street.
It sold in August last year to:
Alhan Ali Elsayed Selem
Kiwi Trustee Services Limited
Mohamed Selim
Susan Anne Bierre
They’re investors who seem to have other ventures in common. Alhan Ali Essayed Selem set up a property development company this year."

Brown also says Maureen was aware of the SHA application, citing Newshub's interview with her.

Best thing you can do is go to gigs at the Kings Arms and keep it a going concern.

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