The managing director of iconic Wellington store Kirks, writes in the Dom Post:
Kirkcaldie & Stains is one of Wellington’s longer-established stores.
As its managing director, I was delighted to read the views of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce on proposals to make the Golden Mile a mall and I empathise with Sir Bob Jones’ vision for the city.
But I also fear that without much more work being done, we risk badly damaging New Zealand’s best urban centre. …
Ease of access is vital for our company. Most customers are happy to walk some distance to visit us, others take public transport. But a significant number of customers like being able to park their cars nearby during the week and particularly at weekends.
If access becomes too difficult, customers will cease visiting the CBD and will do all their shopping in the city’s suburban malls.
I agree. And what may have to be looked at is more parking buildings, so people can still park easily next to Lambton Quay.
We need to be sure that we have sufficient population numbers and visitors to sustain a mall of the size that is being proposed. And central to the issue of ease of access for private transport is the matter of access to affordable and convenient car- parking.
I am a little unsure what Sir Bob is proposing with regard to this important matter, and I am also unsure what the Wellington city and regional councils can deliver on car parking now that the car parks are essentially out of their direct control.
I am not saying that any of the concerns or questions raised are reasons why we should not run with Sir Bob’s vision.
But I agree fully with the Chamber of Commerce that we need to give the idea very careful study.
Study yes – but a study that goes somewhere. Not a study to justify doing nothing. I want a study on what would be the best way to achieve Sir Bob’s vision, and how practical it is.Tags: Bob Jones, Kirks, Wellington