New life sought for vacant CBD space
Porirua Chamber of Commerce and urban revitalisation organisation Letting Space are piloting a programme aimed at attracting new activity and community involvement in the city centre.
Urban Dream Brokerage, the pilot programme, aims at revitalisation by recognising the dynamics of city centres are changing.
As part of the programme, community projects and activities will be introduced into vacant shops throughout the second half of 2015.
Letting Space and the Porirua Chamber of Commerce say the programme is also a new way to help property owners and existing businesses.
‘‘ There is nothing less appealing than long leftvacant properties,’’ Letting Space’s Mark Amery said.
He said the aim was to attract attention to spaces, show their potential and draw people to the city centre.
Amery cited recent international experience showed temporary use of space did that and engaged new parts of the community.
The programme also involves setting up a multipurpose pop-up space for events and gatherings that don’t currently exist in the city centre.
Letting Space has had success in Wellington City, where 35 projects with 24 property owners have run in vacant spaces in the CBD over the past two years.
Porirua Chamber of Commerce executive director Tracy Johnson said the project was part of a new chapter in the city centre development.
‘‘We want to see empty space used creatively to attract communities into the CBD, and from that attract business,’’ she said.
Amery said proposals needed to be different to existing services in the city centre and be accessible to Porirua’s diverse communities – not another $2 dollar shop or outlet store.
He said ideas were welcome from outside Porirua City, but it was vital they involve strong local collaboration.
Initial proposals are needed by July 20.
For information, go to Urban Dream Brokerage at poriruachamber.co.nz.