New life in old buildings
Conversions of old commercial buildings to apartments are picking up pace. But are developers building for the future, or the present?
Recently this popped up over at Eyeofthefish:
- Porirua’s old Post Office building is being turned into rental apartments.
- Lower Hutt’s (rather more attractive) Post Office building converted too
Bayley’s Total Property reckon this is a big trend worldwide, and have some interesting stats.
Sleeping in town – and eating, shopping, living, being… driving?
Leviathan at EOTF points out “Parking is the real killer – I quite agree that most people don’t need a car when living in the city, as they can walk everywhere or catch a bus or cab or increasingly, Uber; but there will always be some people who do need a car, and where they park is a bit of a quandary.”
Porirua’s and Petone’s conversions are handy for trains, albeit with a moderately unpleasant walk to get there at night-time. Those towns are also dedicated to encouraging street parking in their CBDs.
Riverlink and Petone 2040 may help the Hutt. In Porirua, carshare and short-trip “wheeled pedestrian” options (scooting, skating, cycling) should be what’s provided for as a priority. It’s human-powered travel by inner-city residents that brings the most benefits: more shopping, more stopping off, more active people, more “eyes on the street”.
But people’s attitude to parking still seems out of touch with the economics of transport and CBDs. Bayley’s quotes an Auckland developer (yes, speaking of inner-city developments in the country’s most horrifically congested city): “With land opportunities being so scarce in desirable locations, we are put in a position of having to think laterally and identify optimal sites where people … want to live” and a few lines later: “Parking is essential to our product offering. This is not pure investment stock and our typical residents will often own more than one car.”
It’s interesting to look at demographics: who’d be owning converted apartments, and their car ownership needs.
Would you live in a converted apartment?
What would make you feel you had plenty of travel options?