Businesses unhappy with CBD upgrade
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.
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.
Porirua’s city centre with the redevelopment of the car cark almost complete.