Supermarket land still vacant

Last updated 09:49 27/03/2014
BGI building

GONE NOW: The YMCA building, which housed the Boys and Girls Institute, in 2008 before it was demolished to make way for a supermarket.

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The Wellingtonian

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A plot of land in Tasman St is still empty, six years after a landmark building was demolished to make way for a supermarket.

Foodstuffs has owned the land bordered by Tasman, Rugby and Belfast streets for about 12 years.

In 2008 it demolished the 97-year-old Boys and Girls Institute indoor swimming pool building to make way for a supermarket, but nothing was constructed on the site.

Mount Cook Mobilised spokesman Peter Cooke said the group had been wondering what was happening with the site.

"We're annoyed the site has been empty for this long. There was a very useful facility there - the swimming pool - which was taken out long before the resource consent came through," he said.

"We're very disappointed.

"There have been at least two iterations of the plans for the site and still they have nothing."

When contacted this week about the progress on the site, Foodstuffs refused to give details about the current plans.

The site was under review following last year's merger of Foodstuffs Wellington and Auckland, property development general manager Angela Bull said.

Cooke said Mount Cook Mobilised had heard rumours about future plans.

"We've heard that they might be selling it or leasing it to NZ Transport Agency during the Basin Reserve flyover build," he said.

"But that's just rumour. Also most of the people we dealt with [in Foodstuffs] have moved on.

"We really wonder what will be built there now."

Spokesman Anthony Frith said the NZ Transport Agency had made inquires about the site, but had been told it was unavailable.

In 2005 Foodstuffs announced plans to build a mammoth $45 million, 6000sqm Pak 'n Save on the site, and to demolish seven buildings to make way for it.

The buildings included the historical swimming pool.

Mount Cook residents rose up in horror and Mount Cook Mobilised was formed. Spokesman Peter Cooke said the residents' group wanted to save the building.

The traffic and demolition concerns of the residents were real, he said at the time.

"We have concerns about the scale of the supermarket development, its impact on traffic, and whether it will fit in with the character of Mt Cook," he said in 2009. "Residents down there are very concerned.

"It will make congestion at peak traffic times quite evil."

The site was home to TSW Swim School, which taught 1800 swimmers.

It closed on December 21, 2007, after 14 years in operation.

School owner Scott Wilson said in 2007 that many of the young swimmers would struggle to find alternate learn-to-swim programmes.

The 0.8-hectare site was cleared in 2008, more than three years before Foodstuffs received permission to build.

In 2011, the company was granted resource consent for a New World. A year later, Foodstuffs paused all of its Wellington projects and initiated a review of the market.

The Tasman St supermarket never eventuated.


2005: Foodstuffs announces plans for a $45 million, 6000sqm Pak ’n Save and apartments.

2007: TSW Swim School closes.

2007: Residents present a nte1428-signature petition to council against the proposal.

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2008: Boys and Girls Institute, YMCA and five other buildings demolished.

2009: Foodstuffs applies for consent for a $55m, 2675sqm New World, apartments and cafe.

2011: Resource consent for a downsized supermarket approved.

2012: Foodstuffs puts all Wellington developments on hold pending review.

2014: No progress on the site. Foodstuffs reviews Wellington developments again

- The Wellingtonian


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