Canopies down

75-78 Sport

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

Al Gustafson says see­ing the sky will be a good thing.

The com­mer­cial real es­tate agent looks af­ter nine prop­er­ties in the Porirua CBD, with another two pend­ing. He has been work­ing in the field for more than three years.

He feels the Canopies should not be re­placed when they come down in Jan­uary. Two land­lords told him that be­fore the Canopies, store­fronts had bal­conies over them, or awnings. Gustafson said that was the so­lu­tion.

‘‘The bal­conies could give the place a real French Riviera feel. But we need sun to come in and cover is not go­ing to al­low that,’’ he said.

‘‘Porirua has nicer weather than Welling­ton and could at­tract cafes, bars and spe­cial­ity stores if given the chance.’’

Gustafson said shops were empty and peo­ple stayed away from the CBD be­cause they couldn’t park in front of stores.

The un­cov­ered Me­ga­Cen­tre was suc­ceed­ing – and busi­nesses were mov­ing there from the city cen­tre – for that rea­son, he said. He cited Stella Cre­ations, Bal­lan­tynes and Dick Smith as ex­am­ples.

‘‘I’d like to see an­gle park­ing and even have [the Canopies] as a 20kmh drive- through zone. There is so much po­ten­tial for it to be a nice area, and the coun­cil’s tun­nel vi­sion will sti­fle that.

‘‘The ‘it’ll get worse be­fore it gets bet­ter’ at­ti­tude is a tired po­lit­i­cal phrase and in­di­cates a lack of vi­sion.’’

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said he wel­comed de­bate on the CBD be­ing cov­ered.

He said noth­ing was set in stone and pub­lic and pri­vate com­ment would be sought dur­ing next year’s long-term coun­cil plan process.

He said he favoured a Canopy-like cov­er­ing that lets said and in light and sun, but had an open mind.

‘‘I’m flex­i­ble. Let’s wait un­til they [ Canopies] come down and see what it’s like.

‘‘It’s a mas­sive ex­pense [$3 mil­lion] to re­place them, but peo­ple could be frus­trated by hav­ing no cover. We have to be sure and get it right.’’

Coun­cil city cen­tre com­mit­tee chair­man Euon Mur­rell said he wasn’t in favour of cover, but wanted all views heard.

‘‘It’s not go­ing to be a quick process and noth­ing is au­to­matic.’’

Gustafson the rates de­vel­op­ment levy that build­ing own­ers paid in the CBD was too high. He said own­ers of small build­ings were suf­fer­ing most.

‘‘All this time the coun­cil have been hid­ing behind ex­pen­sive con­sul­tants.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.