Busi­nesses un­happy with CBD upgrade

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS - DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

Porirua’s city cen­tre has been heav­ily up­graded, but some re­tail­ers are say­ing the work that’s gone on there is a waste of time.

Work on the new pub­lic space in the middle of Cob­ham Court started last July, and about 90 per cent of the pro­ject has been com­pleted.

The new space has been dubbed ‘‘the vil­lage green’’ and has cost Porirua City Coun­cil $1.3 mil­lion.

Tina Gra­ham, from The Dog Box pub in Cob­ham Court, said right from when the work started, busi­ness was af­fected.

‘‘Busi­ness just dropped. We lost money and even had to let some staff go. The thing is once it stops, will that be the end of it or will we still be strug­gling?’’ Gra­ham said.

Gra­ham said she could not see the logic be­hind the pro­ject or what it was go­ing to achieve.

‘‘As soon as it is fin­ished it will be tagged. There’s al­ready a prob­lem in the area, and the old toi­let was al­ways where the hooli­gans hung out.

‘‘Also peo­ple don’t want to sit out there in a car park, look­ing at a build­ing with toi­lets at­tached to it.

‘‘I don’t be­lieve this is what we need to bring peo­ple to the area.’’

Gra­ham said the area needed to be de­vel­oped prop­erly, with a fo­cus on shops and not just the pop-up food car­a­vans.

Billi Ku­mar, who owns Billi’s Shoe­tique and Bou­tique, said he and some peo­ple he had spo­ken to felt the upgrade was point­less.

‘‘Ninety-nine per cent of peo­ple say it’s a bad move, but it’s like the cy­cle­way in Welling­ton. Ratepay­ers need to speak up if they aren’t happy,’’ Ku­mar said.

The upgrade is be­hind sched­ule.

Coun­cil

city

cen­tre revitalisation co-or­di­na­tor Jane Black said the work sat within the pro­ject bud­get, but that it had not been com­pleted in the ex­pected time.

‘‘We are not happy this has hap­pened,’’ Black said. ‘‘We had wanted it ready for the pub­lic to en­joy be­fore Christ­mas.’’

Black said a re­port out­lin­ing fu­ture city cen­tre projects would be pre­sented to the coun­cil in the next few months.

The next pro­ject is likely to be the de­mo­li­tion of the i-Site build­ing in March/April.

PHOTO: DANIEL WHIT­FIELD

Porirua’s city cen­tre with the re­de­vel­op­ment of the car cark al­most com­plete.

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