Mt Al­bert town cen­tre to get new lease of life

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

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.

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

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.

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