The Grow Room’s era on the second floor of Auckland’s St Kevin’s Arcade is coming to an end following an eviction notice last Thursday.
The creative space, owned by property developer Paul Reid, has been a central hub for creative collaboration since July 2015.
Despite the Grow Room’s success in dealing with a two-fold rent increase earlier this year, Grow Room co-founder, Ethan Oliver, says the eviction doesn’t come as a surprise.
“I knew it was coming, I could feel it coming. He [Paul Reid] has been around quite a bit the last week and they’re just finishing off this office. I just got the feeling there’s going to be twenty professionals in their office space and Paul walking around with suited people. I couldn’t see us fitting into that and I think he saw that too,” he says.
Member of the Grow Room, Nick Gudgeon, says the building’s renovations indicated that the eviction would happen in the near future.
“We knew it was going to happen eventually. I wasn’t actually that surprised, but I thought maybe we would have a little more time,” he says.
The eviction notice was served by Attune Asset Management property manager, Nick Healy, who says the Grow Room “will find another space no doubt,”
“St Kevin’s [Arcade] might not be the same but I’m sure that Karangahape Road will continue kicking along,” he says.
Mr Healy confirmed that Attune Asset Management has since resigned from managing St Kevin’s Arcade.
“We’ve also given notice, we’re leaving, we’ll no longer be managing it [St Kevin’s Arcade] from the first of July,” he says.
Mr Oliver says despite being initially disappointed, he is positive about the Grow Room’s future.
“We’re optimists, I’m an optimist. I feel like this is just a space. This is where it started so there’s the nostalgia and what not that comes with it, but we’re more than just a box. I think just like when the rent when up it’s another opportunity to grow us, reinvigorate us and challenge us to do something else,” he says.
Paul Reid was contacted for comment but did not respond.
“It’s a record label, a musical catalyst for innumerable musicians that glide through its doors, and even those who’ve never touched an instrument before. The Grow Room floats on a vibe of inclusivity, positivity, and encouragement. It’s home to every subculture in Auckland, from “hard-out punk” one night, to hip hop the next. Eight people pay the rent, but you’d be hard pressed to identify the ones who do amongst everybody else, warmly welcomed and perched on the worn-in sofas any minute of the day. Everybody belongs in The Grow Room.” Quoted from NeckOfTheWoods.com