Sale of Shelly Bay land puts popular cafe at risk
October 5, 2017
The Wellington City Council has approved the sale of land at Shelly Bay meaning a popular cafe will likely be demolished now the 350-property development is going ahead.
The Chocolate Fish Cafe has been at Shelly Bay for eight years and is popular with families for its huge outdoor area.
Cafe owner John Pennington said that from what he had seen of the plans, that area would be replaced with high rise buildings.
Pennington said he was hopeful the cafe would be included in the development but this had not been confirmed.
“I’m not quite sure what happens here, whether it gets bowled, because obviously some of it is rubbish, or whether the facade will be saved. I don’t know,” he said.
However, the Wellington City Council’s website said that the officer’s mess building is one of “three key heritage sites” that would be retained.
Pennington said he expected that rent costs in the area would also increase if the development followed through, but he wasn’t sure if the other businesses were aware of this.
He said a significant rent increase would push out the small surrounding art galleries and studios that rely on low rental costs to run their business.
Cafe patron Tracy White said she was also concerned that the art galleries were
“going to get priced out”. “You have to be hopeful. These things will happen whether you like it or not.”
The council received 1100 public submissions on whether the council should go through with the sale of its portion of the Shelly Bay land to the Wellington Company.
The council made the decision to sell the land with 7- 5 against and 2 absent.