Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Addington Workshops 20 years on: [4] Recent Site Development

For this article I am going to make use of Google Earth’s historical footage feature to illustrate how the site has been developed in the past seven years. This can’t be shown in Google Maps so perhaps you should install the Google Earth software and have a look yourself.
The oldest footage is dated April 2004 and shows that the Bunnings store and two other blocks of shops to its south west abutting the railway station were completed along with car parking. The Plant Zone site east of Whiteleigh Ave was undeveloped at this time, with Bell Street still visible. In the triangle between the MSL, present and former curves, the foundations of the old wheel lathe shed were visible indicating its recent demolition. Track was still in place and some wagons were in storage there. There was still a substantial block of the Tower Junction site that was undeveloped at this time.
The next date of coverage is December 2004 only for the triangle where work was now clearly under way on the foundations of the Turners Auctions building, and adjacent to which there was also a clear sight of the route of the Blenheim Road deviation.
By January 2005 the rest of Tower Junction except for the plant zone site had been completed. Earthworks for the embankment of the Blenheim Road deviation on the south side of the railway line had also commenced. A year later a contract had just been let for the deviation and preloading was going on on the north side to compact the ground. The Turners Auctions site was completed and opened with access off Lester Lane, although by this time Detroit Place which became the permanent entrance sometime later was more or less complete. The car dealerships on the north side of this new street were not actually built at this time. However the plant zone site had been developed by this stage.
Since January 2006 the major changes have been from the building of the Blenheim Road deviation which was the last major development of former workshops land. By this date the old Way & Works depot on the right angle corner of Moorhouse Ave was demolished in order to make way for the entrance to Detroit Place along with a commercial building. A premises at the rear of a Moorhouse Ave building was demolished and its former railway siding in the Addington North yard was torn up.
One year further on the route of the road deviation was well formed although the railway was not yet bridged. Detroit Place was open and being used as the main entrance to Turners, the Lester Lane entrance having been closed by the overbridge construction, which also required Bunnings to move its yard entrance on the north side; the car dealerships premises on Detroit Place were under construction. There had also been an encroachment into the Addington North yard with a piece of former railway land being sealed as a carpark. Presumably this piece at the rear of a business premises replaced some taken from the front when Moorhouse Ave was realigned into the Blenheim Road deviation.
The next date is February 2008 and the Blenheim Road deviation had been open some time by then, because the old bridge further north was demolished by this stage, although a small part of the foundations were still being knocked down at this time. But by March 2009 it was definitely all gone. Since then there has been little change although the most recent photos show some buildings or storage on part of the old Blenheim Road next to Deans Ave. The saleyards site has not been developed all this time and remains vacant today, its owner being in Korea for much of that period.