Ponsonby hole build begins

9:59 AM Tuesday September 2, 2014 Anne Gibson

An artist's impression shows a view from the Ponsonby Rd-Hepburn St junction of the development of the old vinegar factory site in Williamson Ave.

Construction work has started on what was Auckland's biggest construction hole - the controversial Soho in the heart of Ponsonby, renamed by locals Sohole when it was a gaping chasm.

Adrian Walker, Progressive Enterprises' property general manager, released four images showing supermarket, office and apartment buildings which will rise on the site between Williamson Ave, Crummer Rd and Pollen St on what was the DYC Vinegar site.

Progressive is expanding into selling part of its 1.3ha site for residential.

The wider $200 million scheme has been named Vinegar Lane. Ebert Construction was the main contractor appointed on the Cider Building which will have a 14,000sq m supermarket, speciality retail and office space on Williamson Ave.

"The Cider Building is central to the development. The building will consist of three levels of office space above the Countdown supermarket, which will also include 10 retail outlets fronting Williamson Ave and Pollen St.

There will be five levels of car parking below the Cider Building, including 220 dedicated car parks for Countdown shoppers," Walker said.

Ebert's first task has been enabling works for the construction of a transformer room scheduled for completion in mid December and soon they will start piling along the Ponsonby Rd boundary to form a retaining wall, Walker said.

Most of the initial works for the Cider Building will be preparatory and not much will be visible until March next year when the basement structure will be above ground. The estimated completion date is the second quarter of 2016. Foundation works started in December and focused on preparing the Vinegar Lane side of the site (Crummer Rd/Pollen St) for subdivision.

These works were expected to be completed this month, Walker said, at which point the individual lots would be ready for construction by their respective owners.

Soho facts

• 1.3ha site just off Ponsonby Rd.
• Layne Kells' Soho Square site vacant for years.
• Once DYC Vinegar factory site.
• Residential subdivision there now called Vinegar Lane.
• Lane Kells dug out an entire block.
• Progressive filled in with 24,000cu m of soil. 
• 2400sq m Countdown, shops, offices and apartments planned.
• 31 sites sold for $285,000-$1.4m.
680 carparks to be built there.