City Bizhub planned

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

Vis­i­ble progress will fi­nally be made in Porirua’s city cen­tre re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion this win­ter when a glam­orous busi­ness hub opens at 4 Lyd­ney Pl.

The old Pete’s Em­po­rium build­ing will be trans­formed into an open- plan two- storey Bizhub, where busi­ness peo­ple can meet and en­ter­tain clients.

Hot­desks, meet­ing rooms, a lounge and cafe will all be ser­viced by wire­less and high­speed ca­ble in­ter­net, and a full­time man­ager will be in place to over­see the fa­cil­ity.

Busi­ness peo­ple will be able to pur­chase a mem­ber­ship for $200 to $300 a month to use the fa­cil­ity, and there will be ca­sual rates for less fre­quent users.

Plan­ning and de­sign work worth $45,000 will be paid for by Porirua City Coun­cil, but the build will be funded by com­mer­cial part­ners, who so far in­clude Whi­tireia, Massey Univer­sity and the Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce.

The fi­nal cost of the fit-out will de­pend on the level of spon­sor­ship, coun­cil plan­ner Ja­son Har­vey-Wills says.

In­vestors will get a range of ben­e­fits, po­ten­tially in­clud­ing nam­ing rights, mem­ber­ship dis­counts or a per­ma­nent pres­ence on-site.

By May the coun­cil hopes to get enough part­ners to start the ren­o­va­tion, and the fa­cil­ity should be open by Au­gust.

Mayor Nick Leggett says the Bizhub will re­spond to busi­ness needs in Porirua, where more than 2000 busi­nesses are run out of peo­ple’s homes.

‘‘In 2011 we sur­veyed th­ese and found that over 40 per cent wanted to use a Porirua-based fa­cil­ity or hub to meet co-work­ers, sup­pli­ers or cus­tomers,’’ Mr Leggett says.

‘‘It’s a good way to ex­pand peo­ple’s cre­ative pro­cesses and have some pro­fes­sional com­pany that they might not have oth­er­wise.’’

The build­ing’s high- vis­i­bil­ity lo­ca­tion for peo­ple driv­ing through Porirua or vis­it­ing the city on pub­lic trans­port should kick- start in­vest­ment into an­other re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion project: A stream­side plaza and new main street down Ferry Pl lined with shops and restau­rants, Mr Leggett says.

‘‘It will bring ac­tiv­ity and a bit of life into the area.’’

First look: De­sign work for a busi­ness hub at 4 Lyd­ney Pl is un­der way by Porirua City Coun­cil. If enough in­vestors are found by May, the Bizhub should be open by Au­gust.

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