CBD framework revealed
Porirua will embrace its waterfront with a streamside plaza, a food district and a clear path from the railway station to the ‘Canopies’ area under a radical city centre revitalisation plan revealed last week.
A new main street will be created on Ferry Pl, a lane that runs west from Porirua Stream to Cobham Ct, through the car park at the centre of the Canopies buildings.
Lyttelton Ave will become a partially pedestrianised streamside plaza stretching from Station Rd to the bus stops opposite Countdown with traffic restricted to 20kmh.
The plans come after three months of work between the council and consulting firm BECA, hired in March to jump-start progress on the long-gestating project.
A total of $23.8 million has been budgeted for the city centre project over 10 years, including capital works, consultants’ fees and council officer costs.
Architecture and design work will begin within three months and construction within a year, BECA’s Greg Pollock said.
However, the full vision could take a decade to realise, depending on the level of private investment attracted by the redevelopment, he said.
The plans are flexible; the council is willing to integrate business development proposals into its design, he said.
Stage one of the revamp will involve relocation of bus stops on Lyttleton Ave where the plaza will be built, removing car parks on Ferry Pl, and making the Station Rd bridge wider and covered for pedestrians.
New World may move its rear access ramp to clear space for the plaza, and to widen Ferry Pl the council-owned i-SITE building on Cobham Ct could be demolished.
The council-owned Ferry House on Ferry Pl, the old Pete’s Emporium site, will be renovated to become a cafe or restaurant and it is hoped a new cafe, bar or restaurant will be built on Ferry Pl.
A design competition will be held for an urban park next to Porirua Stream.
In stage two, North City Shopping Centre will build over the derelict Lydney Pl and create its main entrance facing Ferry Pl.
A 30- year plan for Porirua envisions the waterside urban park extending alongside the harbour to Whitireia, with residential developments and a north-south pathway from the Canopies to the Whitireia campus to complement the east-west Ferry Pl.
Unlike previous redevelopment plans, all councillors agreed this vision was achievable and would show the council’s commitment to attracting investment, deputy mayor Liz Kelly said.
‘‘This is a really exciting moment for us.’’
The plan will create logical paths through a confusing city layout, Cr Ken Douglas said.
The flexibility of the vision was key.
‘‘ It’s not about saying, ‘ We’re going to tear this building down at this time’; it’s about creating an attraction which will draw people to the city,’’ he said.
For a visual sketch of the redevelopment, visit: kapimananews.co.nz.