Trans­for­ma­tion be­gins

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CATRIN OWEN

Lord Frey­berg’s statue has been tem­po­rar­ily re­moved and con­struc­tion’s started on up­grad­ing one of the city’s shared ur­ban spa­ces.

The up­grade to Frey­berg Place and the re­fur­bish­ment to the Ellen Melville Cen­tre is a $10.71 mil­lion project jointly funded by the Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board and the City Cen­tre Tar­geted Rate.

Work is un­der way to cre­ate a hub that will be child-friendly and ap­peal­ing to in­ner-city res­i­dents, busi­nesses and vis­i­tors.

How­ever in July, coun­cil­lor Mike Lee was doubt­ful of Auck­land Coun­cil’s ap­proach to the re­de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘Not many of the res­i­dents sup- port the do-up of Frey­berg Place, they feel the flag­stones need to be re­placed, not a re­design,’’ he says.

The new lay­out is in­tend­ing to be more ac­com­mo­dat­ing, with more seat­ing op­tions, new paving and na­tive trees.

The num­ber of city cen­tre res­i­dents tripled to more than 34,000 over the past 12 years and is grow­ing.

The re­fur­bish­ment of the Ellen Melville Cen­tre will pro­vide the pub­lic with im­proved ameni­ties.

Busi­nesses will re­main open through­out the con­struc­tion, how­ever there will be some traf­fic and pedes­trian dis­rup­tion. The up­grades are ex­pected to be com­pleted by mid2017.

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