$200m boost for park

Central Leader - - NEWS - By LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

MONEY is be­ing pumped into Alexan­dra Park in an effort to bring new life to the fa­cil­ity.

A more than $200 mil­lion res­i­den­tial and re­tail devel­op­ment is in the works for 223 Green Lane West, with reg­is­tra­tions of in­ter­est open­ing on Jan­uary 30.

And just this week the Blues an­nounced they are in­vest­ing be­tween $4 mil­lion and $6m at the park to es­tab­lish a new train­ing base and head­quar­ters.

Invit­ing out­side faces in is a pos­i­tive step, Alexan­dra Park chief ex­ec­u­tive Do­minique Dowd­ing says.

‘‘Ba­si­cally, we wanted to re­vi­talise and rein­vig­o­rate the park and har­ness rac­ing it­self.

‘‘To do so we felt that we had land as­sets that were un­der­utilised.

‘‘Har­ness rac­ing is in se­ri­ous de­cline and we’re try­ing to push it up as a sport.’’

The two sport­ing codes can work to­gether to en­gage the com­mu­nity, Dowd­ing says.

And rugby is not a new thing in the area.

Alexan­dra Park was for­merly known as Pot­ter’s Pad­dock and hosted the 14th All Blacks test in 1908.

‘‘We’re right smack in an ex­cel­lent lo­ca­tion – we’re re­ally ex­cited about the We wanted to re­vi­talise and rein­vig­o­rate the park and har­ness rac­ing it­self . . . Har­ness rac­ing is in se­ri­ous de­cline and we’re try­ing to push it up as a sport op­por­tu­ni­ties,’’ she says.

‘‘We just hope that both of these moves will rein­vig­o­rate the park so peo­ple come back to Alexan­dra Park and will em­brace it as part of their com­mu­nity.’’

A show home for the 223 Green Lane West apart­ments is ex­pected to be open by early March and the build­ings com­pleted by 2016.

Two of the four apart­ment build­ings will be nine storeys high and the other two will be five storeys.

But Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board chair­man Peter Haynes says the in­flux of peo­ple at Alexan­dra Park will put pres­sure on the busy junc­tion of Manukau Rd and Green Lane West.

The board met with Alexan­dra Park ex­ec­u­tives to dis­cuss the devel­op­ment last week, he says.

Haynes says the qual­ity of the de­sign is ad­mirable but the ba­sics also need to be cov­ered.

‘‘This is the sort of high­qual­ity devel­op­ment that we need if we’re go­ing to have in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion on the isth­mus but the es­sen­tial in­fra­struc­ture nec­es­sary does need to be pro­vided.

‘‘We still have that prob­lem of a con­gested in­ter­sec­tion at two ar­te­rial roads. It needs to be sorted.’’

Alexan­dra Park ex­ec­u­tives are hop­ing an in­flux of visi­tors and res­i­dents will rein­vig­o­rate the fa­cil­ity and the sport of har­ness rac­ing. The Blues are plan­ning a $4 to $6 mil­lion fa­cil­ity at Alexan­dra Park, above right.

In­creas­ing num­bers:

Do­minique Dowd­ing

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