Not a rush job

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Porirua’s CBD re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion could take decades rather than years, says the man hired by Porirua City Coun­cil to lead the makeover.

Greg Pol­lock is head of a three­man team from Welling­ton-based con­sult­ing firm Beca, con­tracted this month to project man­age the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion on an in­def­i­nite ba­sis.

It will take time to con­vince pri­vate in­vestors to buy into the city cen­tre, Mr Pol­lock says.

‘‘This is a long-term story. That’s not to say we’re not go­ing to start do­ing things. There’s a sense that some­thing needs to start, to hap­pen. We need to make sure it’s the right some­thing, though.’’

Top pri­or­ity is cre­at­ing more lo­cal em­ploy­ment in the CBD, and Mr Pol­lock be­lieves this can be achieved by en­cour­ag­ing prop­erty own­ers to re­fur­bish their build­ings so dif­fer­ent kinds of busi­ness will want to move in. More restau­rants in the city cen­tre are also needed to at­tract peo­ple in the evenings, he says.

Among longer- term pri­or­i­ties is a re­vamp of the city’s lay­out to boost busi­ness and in­crease foot traf­fic, start­ing with a new main street, Mr Pol­lock says.

There are few streets in Porirua with busi­nesses along both sides, and this dis­cour­ages peo­ple from lin­ger­ing in the CBD, he says.

‘‘It’s roads on ei­ther side of car parks right now.’’

Com­mer­cial in­vest­ment will come when in­vestors see there is a solid, well-sup­ported plan in place for the CBD, Mr Pol­lock says.

‘‘It’s kind of a snow­balling thing. If we get some things right the pri­vate sec­tor will start to in­vest.’’

Ul­ti­mately the suc­cess of the project will be get­ting peo­ple to use the city cen­tre, he says.

‘‘The Porirua cen­tre, I think, is an ex­am­ple of what hap­pens when you don’t think about peo­ple when de­vel­op­ing a city cen­tre.

‘‘We see our role as help­ing the city to cre­ate this city cen­tre which is some­thing they love to visit.’’

Home sweet home: Can­nons Creek’s Taing fam­ily are hav­ing a much-needed house built for them by Whi­tireia stu­dents in a neat trade-off or­gan­ised by Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity.

Long term vi­sion: Greg Pol­lock

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.