Deputy mayor and Franklin Ward Councillor Bill Cashmore and Franklin Local Board are pleased the people of Franklin will ultimately benefit from a decision to sell the current site of the Pukekohe service centre.
Both Cr Cashmore and the local board advocated for the sale of the 82 Manukau Road site on the basis that a fit-for-purpose alternative could be found and the current council-owned land would be redeveloped in a way that will enhance the area.
The deputy mayor says the land can be used for both parking as well as facilities for education providers.
“The redevelopment of the site will need to include substantial park and ride provision and commercial space for community benefit,” he says.
Properties being sold no longer fit for purpose
The Pukekohe Service Centre site will be one of seven council-owned office sites sold across Auckland.
“Living in the past is both expensive and inefficient. The properties being sold are no longer fit for purpose and require substantial upgrades and refurbishment which would cost $210m while leaving a shortfall of $177m,” Cr Cashmore says.
Franklin Local Board deputy chair Andy Baker appeared before the Finance and Performance Committee on Tuesday 15 May and says the council must not only be financially prudent but also retain its local presence.
He says the local board initiated discussions about rationalising the Manukau Rd site when it became apparent that there were better uses at the site such as a possible education/learning hub and multi-storey carpark.
“We accept that the costs of retaining and maintaining these types of facilities are a huge burden on rates as it is an operational expense.”
“But whilst the properties have been cleared for sale, it will still be up to two years before they go on the market as we need to finalise where we will locate the new council service centre and local board office and then develop that so it is fit for purpose for now and the future.”
Local board chair Angela Fulljames says the task for the board is now to ensure the appropriate location is found.
“We will establish a working group on maximising the usage of what facilities we have in Pukekohe, look at what may be developed whilst ensuring we provide good community outcomes.”