Save Ocean Beach

The natural and physical resources of Ocean beach and its adjacent City Dunedin are under threat and you can help!

If you have a short drive around the immediate area of St Clair Beach you will discover some newly erected signs advertising 2 proposed new commercial developments.

Firstly between The Esplanade Restaurant in the Hydro Building and the Startfish Cafe is a large sign erected in the middle of the vacant lot informing the public of the development of a three storey commercial food/cafe buliding with day/spa and offices above, expressions of interest in future tenancies of the new building is also invited. This development has been in the pipeline for over 3 years where it was initially going to be a Thai Restaurant.

The previous building on the vacant lot was demolished in 2001 where it had lived its life as a dairy since 1923. Then it was known as 'Thomas Holloway Walker's fruiterer and confectioner' .. in 1927 it changed hands and became T. and E. Saager then from 1935-45 it was the 'James Algie Dairy'. In 1948 it was run as the St Clair Milk Bar till 1976 when it changed hands and name to 'The Shoreline Milk Bar', then 'Leishmans Dairy' till its demolition in 2001.

Around the corner on Bedford Street a sign was sneakily erected on the back fence of 236 Forbury Road which declares an application for Resource Consent for the demolition of the existing dwelling and commercial building which currently houses a flat and Wendys Hair Fashion. It is proposed that a new commercial building be erected to house a Beauty Therapy Business.

This is rather a sad demise of such a long standing St Clair building, which is currently the longest running commercial buliding in the area. It began its life as a store in 1884, and during its reign it switched hands many times alternating between a grocers and a telegraphist/telephone office until in 1961 when it became a hair salon 'Salon Susan' and then in 1965 'Kaylyn' Hairdressing Salon, then switching to the current tenant 'Wendy's Hair Fashion'.

(Although I must say that the building is rotten, and I have personally in the last few months been in the back flat where I have put my foot through the bathroom floor right down to the ground below. ) Yes, he building is old and rotten and probably due for demilition.
But what do you think of the idea of a beauty salon? I thought perhaps a more community based dwelling would serve the St Clair area, but the submisson period for this resource consent closed on the 13th October unfortunately, and it looks like this project will be going ahead unless unknown to me there were some protests see DCC consent page here

So whats up? seems St Clair appears to be becoming a bit of a mecca for beauty therapy, hair art and wellbeing..
Well nothing new for St Clair, as of course the medicinal properties of the salt water bathing in the area was declared over 120 years ago. In 1884 the council at the time developed and enlarged a natural depression in the rocks at the site of the current hot salt water pool to provide 'the baths' where strict hours were kept for separate bathing of males and females. Over the decades it was heralded as a healing place where many ailments were claimed to be cured such as rheumatism, sciatica and nervous diseases. Massage and physiotherapy was practiced there too.

Various constructions of bathing buldings have sprung up and been demolished, burnt down, or revamped and now the area houses a top class Hot Salt Water Poll, a cafe 'Classic Cafe' with the most unique view/vantage point for sipping lattes I have seen in NZ, with some pretty cool artworks on the wall (unashamed plug).
The pool opens again this weekend for the 2006-7 season.