Three barbershops in central Auckland are closed and the owners are blaming Mayor Phil Goff.
The Barber Shop Company has closed barber shops on Karangahape Rd, Federal St and Wolfe St.
They posted signs outside directing people to other stores that were still open and directing complaints to Goff’s personal assistant phone number.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Adam Johanson said Goff, who owns Auckland Transportation (AT), and Auckland City Council are “deaf on a road construction and construction project that is exacerbating the blows of businesses in the Central Business District (CBD). “I said. ) Is already being imported from Covid-19.
“We have no control over Covid,” he said.
“We have control over the environment and the number of roads we dig at once. I think AT is digging everything at once.
“We decided to temporarily close the store until AT completes or stops some of the work and people return to CBD.”
All staff have been relocated to 15 different barber shops throughout Auckland. These include the Viaduct Basin and two “city fringe” stores open on Anzac Ave close to several residential apartments.
“We know it’s a localized issue directly related to CBD because suburban stores and urban fringe stores are doing a lot better than before,” Johanson said.
He said this was partly because many office workers did not come to the CBD and still work from home, and the losses of tourists and international students also hit downtown businesses.
However, he said several road works and City Rail Link projects at Albert St were interfering with pedestrians and cars and preventing people from entering the town.
“Albert St has been unearthed for a while. What it did is create a new risk factor. People don’t wander there,” he said. It hit his Wolfe St store, outside Lower Albert St, and the Federal St store behind the Auckland District Court.
His K’Rd store was hit by constructing a new cycleway. One of the AT projects that caused road construction on 63 streets this year was called “Perfect Storm” even before Covid.
Another barber on the corner of K’Rd and Queen St, Cutting Crew’s Abbas Motemasek, said the corner was blocked by cycleway construction for over a year and his business had declined by 20-30%.
“We had four employees, and we are now two and a half years old,” he said. “We’re trying to pay rent to make our landlords happy. That’s all we can do.”
But, said Susannah Maloney of Maloney’s Barber Shop on Victoria St, “I’ve been working really hard since the closure to encourage new customers and bring back old customers who were working from home.
“We certainly went down to what we looked like in general at this time,” she said, “but not dramatically in any way threatening our business.”
Heart of the City chief executive Viv Beck said last week that CBD pedestrian counts and retail sales were 25% lower than this time last year.
A Herald survey of November 8 found that 40 of the 225 street-front buildings on Queen St, currently between K’Rd and the waterfront, are closed. The vacancy rate is 18%.
CBD closures hit the area again a day last Friday, and Beck said the number of pedestrians to date this week has declined by 30% compared to last year.
She told Auckland City Council and AT that they plan work for the entire area, not the streets, and reward businesses hit by City Rail Link work from $4 million approved last year to $60 million (NZ$64 million). Asked to increase it closer. ) Businesses affected by Sydney’s light rail project.
Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Business Chamber, did not endorse road construction or the suspension of City Rail Link, but urged Congress to do more to bring people back to the CBD.
“An important role the council has to play is to ensure that CBD remains a destination despite projects that are upgrading the CBD in the long run. This role can be anything from public relations to getting CBD in its prime position. I order people to visit it and choose to apply,” he said.
A Goff spokesman said that stopping City Rail Link would require 3000 jobs, “great difficulty and cost” to resume projects later, and “in the future there will be an increased risk premium for all major New Zealand projects.”
Auckland Transport Media Relations Manager Mark Hannan said the road works and City Rail Link are part of the $6 billion investment in Auckland’s central urban infrastructure over the next five years.
“After years of investment, Auckland is now at the biggest growth stage in the city’s history. Yes, this means there are more road works than ever before,” he said.
However, he said the downtown construction project is now 75% complete and 8 out of 10 sections of K’Rd “Street Landscape Upgrades” have been completed.
1. Galway Street Improvements-Opening this month.
2. Lower Albert St Bus Interchange-Open in December 2020.
3. Strengthen Quay St-from mid-2019 to January 2021.
Queens Wharf to Marsden Wharf (Palisade wall)-complete
Princes Wharf (Jet Grouting)-Complete
· Ferry Basin (seawall anchoring)-scheduled for completion at the end of November 2020
· Ferry Building (Morning at the Seawall)-Scheduled to be completed at the end of January 2021
4. Te Wānanga (new waterfront common area): Opened May-2021.
5. Redevelopment of the Perry Basin-Phase 1 from mid-2019 to April 2021.
6. Quay St improvements-mostly until April 2021. The last leg between Princes and Queen Wharf takes place in mid-2021.
Additionally, Lower Queen St, part of the City Rail Link program, opens at the end of December.
Source: Auckland Transport.