New life sought for va­cant CBD space

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

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.

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