Lights pave way to revamp
THE SWITCH has been turned on for Mt Albert town centre’s facelift.
About 50 people gathered outside the Triniti of Silver cafe on the corner of New North and Carrington roads on Friday night as a tree wrapped in lights was turned on.
The $9500 project marks the start of the town centre’s rejuvenation, Albert-Eden Local Board’s Glenda Fryer says.
As the board’s economic development leader, Fryer is charged with turning Mt Albert town centre into a lively and thriving village.
This year $3.3 million will be pumped into the project but Fryer says most of that will cover pre-upgrade consultation.
Money will be allocated over the next two years for physical upgrades including better pedestrian access, public art, plants and lighting so the area is safe.
Mt Albert town centre ‘‘hasn’t got a focus’’ or central space, such as a square,’’ Fryer says.
The tree ‘‘shines as a beacon that things are about to start in Mt Albert’’, she says.
For 10 years businesses have been told funding would come but it was stalled for several reasons, including the train station upgrade, she says.
A town square will be developed in what is now a car park next to 911 New North Rd after Auckland Council and Albert-Eden Local Board secured a longterm lease last year.
The $5 million project will see a ramp connect the newly rebuilt train station and the shopping area.
The board also paid for the Mt Albert Business Association’s CCTV network.
The tree will be lit every night and Triniti of Silver cafe has agreed to pay the electricity bill.
Fryer says the board is grateful for the cafe’s dedication to the town centre.
New beginnings: The Mt Albert town centre tree is lit up, signifying the rejuvenation of the business area.
Creating heart: Glenda Fryer speaks at the ceremony.