Soho Square Ponsonby

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Soho Square site in June 2010
Construction proceeded as far as the retaining walls and car parking basement slab before ceasing.

Soho Square Ponsonby was a failed development in the suburb of Grey Lynn in Auckland, New Zealand. The $250 million project was announced in 2006[1] and was meant to be a major attraction in the area with apartments, office space and retail areas.[2] Construction started on the site of an old yeast manufacturing plant, but progress was slow and the developers had gone into receivership by the end of 2009.[3] In May 2010 receivers signed a conditional contract with Innovus;[4] this bid failed due diligence and Soho Square was back on the market in August 2010.[5] In 2011 the site was purchased by Progressive Enterprises with a plan to open a supermarket, an underground carpark, and other retail shops.[6][7] As of 2012 the site remains an unused excavated hole.

Planned location and features[edit]

The project was planned for the west end of Grey Lynn, Auckland, near Western Park. It was to occupy 1.3 hectares, almost the whole block within Williamson Avenue, Pollen Street and Crummer Road.[1]

The developer website stated that the site would contain 25,000m² of office space, 35 retail shops, 53 apartments and over 1250 undercover car parking spaces.[2]

History of the site[edit]

From 1910 the site had been a yeast production plant.[1] The former Dominion Yeast Company site was sold in 2004 by New Zealand Food Industries (now part of the international AB Mauri group) and up until that stage had been producing nearly all of the compressed yeast in New Zealand.[1] The plant has since been moved to Hamilton.[8]

In 2006 the location was bought by the Marlin Group. The resulting proposal was not without controversy, with many in the area protesting the development. In 2008 resource consent was turned down.[9] Protests against the development continued after construction had halted; one included a group of artists using the area as a swimming pool.[10]

The development did not progress any further than the initial excavation for five floors of planned underground car park.[11] After remaining unused for a number of months, this site was purchased by Progressive Enterprises in June 2011.[6] Construction work is well underway on the new development. A mix of retail and residential property is to include a large Countdown supermarket. The new development has been called Vinegar Lane, and will comprise two precincts, Cider and Vinegar, which reference the former use of the site. The Cider Building will house the Countdown supermarket, and the Vinegar precinct will be mixed commercial and residential buildings. Completion of the development is anticipated to be June 2016.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d Taylor, Colin (2006-07-01). "Soho Square to rise in Ponsonby". NZ Herald. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  2. ^ a b Marlin Group. "Soho - Ponsonby Auckland". Archived from the original on May 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  3. ^ Rein, Jocelyn (2009-12-09). "So much for Soho plan". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  4. ^ Dey, Bob (2010-05-13). "Soho Square sold". The Bob Dey Property Report. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  5. ^ Dey, Bob (2010-07-05). "Soho sale falls through, back on market". The Bob Dey Property Report. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  6. ^ a b Countdown (2011-06-30). "Progressive Enterprises purchases Soho Square". Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  7. ^ Gibson, Anne (2011-12-27). "Locals backing move to turn Soho hole into supermarket". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  8. ^ "AB Mauri - Regions" (Company website). AB Mauri. 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  9. ^ Gibson, Anne (2009-03-25). "Artists pool resources for 'Sohole' swim". NZ Herald. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  10. ^ Rein, Jocelyn (2010-04-14). "Soho's plans unfold". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  11. ^ "Vinegar Lane, do it your way". 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 

External links[edit]

  • Soho Square - The company website is currently offline

Coordinates: 36°51′32″S 174°44′57″E / 36.8588°S 174.7491°E / -36.8588; 174.7491