Waterfront businesses suffering after bridge closure cuts off pedestrians

April 11, 2024

Waterfront businesses suffering after bridge closure cuts off pedestrians

he pedestrian bridge connecting the CBD and Britomart station to Wynyard Quarter has been closed for maintenance until the end of the year. Photo: Vivek Panchal

Alex Pearson, manager of the Wynyard Pavilion says they have lost up to 50 percent of their business. The proper functioning of the bridge directly correlates to the amount of business they get. “The high rent and business costs make running the restaurant hard”. He says there are potential talks amongst other business owners on the waterfront to submit a joint proposal to the Council to discuss rent relief and push for a faster resolution. Photo: Vivek Panchal

Alex Pearson, manager of the Wynyard Pavilion says they have lost up to 50 percent of their business. The proper functioning of the bridge directly correlates to the amount of business they get. “The high rent and business costs make running the restaurant hard”. He says there are potential talks amongst other business owners on the waterfront to submit a joint proposal to the Council to discuss rent relief and push for a faster resolution. Photo: Vivek Panchal

SEE: more photos below story

Businesses in Wynyard Quarter are suffering due to the now months-long closure of the Auckland waterfront's iconic pedestrian bridge for maintenance problems.

One owner now plans to pack up and move to Australia.

The closure has affected businesses and commuters – isolating the area and increasing commuting time for people working there.

Waterfront businesses say they are losing their clientele with customers are unwilling to make the long detour around the Viaduct Basin, as the bridge connected Wynyard Quarter with the bottom of town.

“Winter months are usually slower, but with the closure, it feels like it will be even slower,” says Alex Pearson of the Wynyard Pavillion, an eatery and bar based in Wynyard Quarter.

Adil Omoush, the owner of Wynyard Mart, says he has seen a 40 percent decrease in the customers coming into his shop.

He plans to move to Australia at the end of the year as he has become disappointed with the current state of the country.

Feriza’s Kitchen bar manager, who did not want his name published, says he struggles to compete with restaurants on the other side of the bridge.

He added that the closure of the bridge affects the mentality of customers as “they would much rather find other places to eat.”

Commuter Isaac Legg, who works at ASB’s North Wharf branch in the quarter, says the closure has added an extra 30 minutes to his trip from the ferry terminal on Queens Wharf.

He added that the area has been “dead” for the past few months as “tourists from the cruise ships prefer to walk around downtown rather than take the detour to come here”.

Ravinder Singh, sous chef at Feriza's says his staff has had difficulty commuting to work for the last four years. "Public transport is unreliable and people don't necessarily want to walk this far to eat. There are no buses late at night, meaning people must either spend money on Uber or Lime scooters, meanwhile a functioning bridge would allow people to walk, which is free.” Photo: Vivek Panchal

Ravinder Singh, sous chef at Feriza's says his staff has had difficulty commuting to work for the last four years. "Public transport is unreliable and people don't necessarily want to walk this far to eat. There are no buses late at night, meaning people must either spend money on Uber or Lime scooters, meanwhile a functioning bridge would allow people to walk, which is free.” Photo: Vivek Panchal

“Every cloud has a silver lining". A billboard lies outside The Conservatory, one of the Wynyard Quarter restaurants affected by the closure of the walkway. Staff refused to comment on how the empty tables reflect slow business.  Photo: Vivek Panchal

“Every cloud has a silver lining". A billboard lies outside The Conservatory, one of the Wynyard Quarter restaurants affected by the closure of the walkway. Staff refused to comment on how the empty tables reflect slow business.  Photo: Vivek Panchal

"It is a question we discuss at work every day, when will it open?" says Rebecca Apanui assistant manager at The Pantry Cafe and Eatery. "Our staff are having trouble commuting, with some of them being late to work. Even the side streets are quite scary to walk at night.” She added, “ there is also nothing happening in Auckland, no events that would drive business.” Photo: Vivek Panchal

"It is a question we discuss at work every day, when will it open?" says Rebecca Apanui Assistant Manager at The Pantry Cafe and Eatery. "Our staff are having trouble commuting, with some of them being late to work. Even the side streets are quite scary to walk at night.” She added, “ there is also nothing happening in Auckland, no events that would drive business.” Photo: Vivek Panchal

"It is a question we discuss at work every day, when will it open?" says Rebecca Apanui Assistant Manager at The Pantry Cafe and Eatery. "Our staff are having trouble commuting, with some of them being late to work. Even the side streets are quite scary to walk at night.” She added, “ there is also nothing happening in Auckland, no events that would drive business.” Photo: Vivek Panchal

Signs warn pedestrians of the closure of Wynyard crossing bridge, a main route for connecting commuters from Britomart station and customers seeking hospitality along the waterfront. Photo: Vivek Panchal

Signs warn pedestrians of the closure of Wynyard crossing bridge, a main route for connecting commuters from Britomart station and customers seeking hospitality along the waterfront. Photo: Vivek Panchal

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