Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Opening of New Lynn's Merchant Quarter

On 9 March, I took a bit of time off to go to the opening of New Lynn's new Merchant Quarter development, on McCrae Way.

McCrae Way is a new street, carved through former car park areas, with the Merchant Quarter taking up the site which used to be the New Lynn bus terminal (in yellow circle below. Both images from Auckland Council GIS, lower image from 2006).

All this architecture isn't the be-all and end-all for the development. Auckland Transport have sold the overhead rights to developers.

And they hope the above impression will be the result. It will be served by already-constructed cavernous carpark areas within the development.

With more to come. Carparks, mainly, to encourage folks to use public transport, and to have New Lynn be a "destination". The shop spaces in the Merchant Quarter, at the moment, are still empty and up for lease.

McCrae Way -- naming a new road after a chap who didn't own this piece of land (he owned the paddocks on which adjacent Lynnmall was built), and who committed suicide in the late 1960s, after a career running one of the most notorious bus companies in Auckland. Weird quirks like this is part of why I love my city.

A pity, though, that the newly-planted trees are dying in the 2012-2013 Auckland Drought.

Still, nice music on the day ...

... a talented fairy on stilts ...

... and bouncy castles and street games for the kids of all ages.

Time will tell what happens to this latest bit of New Lynn's story.


  1. I wonder what Timespanner II will write about the development in 50 or 60 years? It's such an improvement over the bus terminal that preceded it and along with the transport centre has really lifted New Lynn. I'm hoping the momentum can be maintained and that New Lynn can emerge as a desirable business and residential centre: the gateway to the 'near west?'

  2. I did talk to one or two older NL residents on the day, who expressed the opinion that "things needed to change". Can't argue with the fact that NL was indeed looking rather tired, a bit of a dog-end to the ever-spreading Lynnmall complex (which is going to grow even more!)

    I'm wondering what kind of shops there will be, and how busy McCrae Way will end up being. There might be some more shots before "Timespanner II" picks up the baton. Cheers!

  3. I can see how they're bringing in the theme of community living within the framework of the heart of New Lynn. It works and it makes sense to do that. Reminds me of the Viaduct Basin development except this isn't on the Auckland Harbour. The architecture though looks like a hangover from the 1980's. Still better than the old bus terminal I suppose. As our tastes and community changes so our buildings and layouts change. Great post and I loved the photos!