Councillors go for car park tower

Construction is expected to start on the Harington St parking building in November. Photo: Google Maps.

Tauranga City councillors have voted for the tallest car parking building from the list of available options for the proposed Harington Street car park site.

At last week’s city council meeting, the vote was for a nine storey car parking building, two storeys beyond what city council transportation staff believe is the maximum practical height.

There is a nine storey parking building in Manukau City councillors were told.

The Tauranga building will have an additional two basement levels.

Cost for the 11 storey project is estimated to cost $31.6 million.

The project has $20.19m allocated in the 2015-25 long term plan. The extra is expected to be updated through the 2018-28 long term plan process.

Staff concerns are that the top two levels may be unused because customers won’t drive up that far. The staff recommendation was for two basement levels and seven above ground.

Councillor Max Mason says the too high argument doesn’t work with driverless cars expected to become a major proportion of vehicle traffic within the next ten years of the parking building’s 50 year design life.

“Has there been any thought given to driverless cars, you get out at the bottom and the car drives itself to the top,” says Max.

At seven levels the 575 carparks will cost $47,000 each to build, says Max. If they add two more floors at $4.5 million extra, then the cost per car park is $33,000.

“It seems like quite a bargain, I imagine it will never be cheaper,” says Max.

Councillor Larry Baldock asked about a future pedestrian bridge across Hamilton Street to the future civic heart buildings, but that option has not yet been pursued, because the civic heart buildings are not finalised.

“It doesn’t require much to think about where it might bolt in,” says Larry.

Steve Morris says the “eleven storey monster” will become a white elephant that the city council will not be able to on-sell.

“It will cost more, too much for small provincial city like Tauranga. It will be a white elephant for many years. I want to get them off the balance sheet rather than putting them on there.”

Gail McIntosh and Kelvin clout also spoke in favour of the taller option. Gail says looming building Act change will prevent the council from adding additional floors after a seven storey building is completed – and it makes more economic sense with the additional revenue.

Kelvin wants more electric vehicle charging points but says it a detail that can be added.

“I agree with councillor McIntosh, it’s never going to be cheaper,” says Kelvin.

The nine storey parking building will be between seven storey Harington House and the 11 storey Kingsview apartments.

The council decision on the scope option allows for the preliminary design to be finalised. Detailed design can now commence with a view to begin construction in November 2017 and remain on target for completion of the Transport Hub in December 2018.

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white elephants?

Posted on 28-07-2017 15:52 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Interesting some Councillors are at last saying that, just about the car park building, and they are right. the better option would be to not borrow the $31m and more like $40m odd by the time built. TCC ratepayers would be a lot better off for that indeed. The CBD is almost dead via stranglation carried out by TCC alone. The answer is to little to late, no money to pay for it and the parking revenue will be a myth that will burden ratepayers for many years to come.


Posted on 27-07-2017 12:32 | By Papamoaner

Guess I must have pressed your funny bone button there somewhere Murray. Bit of an over reaction there old fulla. The penetration of electromagnetic waves into materials has to do with the wavelength and the nature of the material. Nobody said stuff works everywhere all the time, but we all know, technophobes aside, that most of it works most of the time wherever we go. There will always be exceptions. As to driverless cars, the R&D is pretty advanced already with some parking iterations being prototype trialled and improved. On reflection, your comment to Max was probably tongue in cheek, but still doesn’t justify pot calling the kettle black.

Papamoaner, stick to pitting pins in your dolls, GPS tracking is less reliable in Buildings

Posted on 26-07-2017 14:53 | By Murray.Guy

Papamoaner, put aside your personal issues for rational discussion.Yes, my phone works, albeit unreliably, in most buildings, but NOT always. A GPS works better when the device has a clear line of sight to the sky. The more GPS satellites that your device can access, the more accurate it is. When inside, there is often no direct line from the satellite signals to your device. The signal weakens or distorts as it travels through the building to your GPS, and the result is inaccurate operation. GPS signals pass through glass much more easily than they do through thick, solid materials such as brick, metal, stone or wood. Being, in my opinion, a responsible Councillor, is partly about doing your own research, which I did. Technology is moving rapidly, BIT not that quick! Start her:

@Murray Guy

Posted on 25-07-2017 15:16 | By Papamoaner

Wrong Murray.Anything above around 6 to 7 hundred MHz will saturate the building. Ever noticed how your 800MHz cellphone still works in a lift with the doors closed? Best stick to politics mate.

Future Planning

Posted on 25-07-2017 06:51 | By think about it

Driverless cars don’t need a carpark, they will just drive off and somebody else can use it in a car sharing scheme. Less cars overall, no car parks needed, no car parking fees, no capital tied up in a car. A large percentage of cars at the moment spend 90% of their life parked.

Hey Max Mason, your GPS signal might struggle

Posted on 25-07-2017 00:58 | By Murray.Guy

Hey Max, I think your driver-less car is going to struggle taking itself up ’one floor’ and parking, being in part, GPS dependent! Sooner your car than mine!

here we go again

Posted on 24-07-2017 21:14 | By old trucker

Kelvin wants this Kelvin wants that,I DONT SEE the Mayors name here ,my god he was going to put a stop to this spending,(YEAH RIGHT), it will blow out to$ 40million as they would have forgotton something, it does not mention the councillors names who decided this, ALL FACELESS, but will have their faces on sign boards soon, trying too look the one, This is terrible Sunlive,anyway you are No1 for News,Thankyou, 10-4 out.

I'm confused?

Posted on 24-07-2017 19:27 | By waiknot

So downtown is dying or dead and needs resuscitation, so why the need for more car parking.

Will this

Posted on 24-07-2017 19:12 | By Merlin

Will this block out light from the windows of the adjacent buildings especially those lower units on the right??


Posted on 24-07-2017 18:00 | By Capt_Kaveman

councilors are never on the same wavelength the max height should be 5 with 2 below, driverless cars major in 10yrs well Max nice to dream is it not, in 10 years electric cars will still be below 10% i expect that hybrids could be as high as 25%

Say again Steve?

Posted on 24-07-2017 17:22 | By astex

Steve Morris says the eleven storey monster will become a white elephant"? But he thinks the museum is not.?Is this selective criticism Steve?

Obvious answer

Posted on 24-07-2017 12:37 | By rastus

The obvious answer is for the regular clients (Those who have a reserved regular parking spot) to use the floors starting from the top and leaving the lower floors for casual users - no brainer

Ratepayer is slugged again.

Posted on 24-07-2017 12:15 | By

The ratepayer is slugged over $30 million, whilst the building developers/owners again take no responsibility for creating adequate parking for their tenants. Another new high-rise is proposed for Spring Street, supposedly 400~500 people working there. How many car parks is the building going to have? We as ratepayers are effectively subsidising the rich boys; council must make a stand and review the rules to force builders to provide adequate parking for all their tenants.

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