CBD frame­work re­vealed

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.

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