Mt Albert town centre to get new lease of life
Long held plans to renew the Mt Albert town centre are finally kicking into gear.
A town square will be developed in what is now a car park next door to 911 New North Rd after the Auckland Council and the AlbertEden Local Board secured a longterm lease for the site last week.
The $5 million project will forge a link between the newly rebuilt train station and the shopping area.
A ramp will connect the station with the square.
‘‘It’s fair to say the people of Mt Albert have fallen out of love with the town centre. This is the first step towards re-capturing some of Mt Albert’s former glory,’’ local board chairman Peter Haynes says.
For the past two decades residents have held hope that the renewal would happen.
They have been consulted on the idea on at least three occasions in that time without anything eventuating, Dr Haynes and board member Pauline Anderson say.
The current attempt is partly a legacy project of the Auckland City Council and some funds were set aside in the local board’s budget upon its formation.
Work couldn’t begin until the train station upgrade was complete and long negotiations for the land lease delayed progress until now.
‘‘It’s been a lengthy process,’’ Dr Haynes says.
‘‘It’s been the board’s main project since day one and the whole board is thrilled to bits about the development.’’
The community will be consulted over coming months about what will be included in the square.
Seating is a given and art work is also possible.
The linking bridge will likely be installed by Christmas and it is hoped construction work will start shortly after.
Under way: Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes and board member Pauline Anderson say the Mt Albert town centre renewal has been a top priority.