Getting down to business on the waterfront
‘‘We want to create some atmosphere down there and have businesses.’’
The tide has turned toward commercialising prime city centre reserve land alongside Porirua Harbour.
Porirua City Council’s city direction committee agreed last week to allow the leasing of recreational land at Wi Neera Reserve for temporary commercial activity.
The intention is to better include the waterfront as part of a big $21 million plan to revitalise the CBD over the next 10 years.
In keeping with its grassy waterside feel, the first businesses to show interest have been an electric and push-bike rental provider, and a barbecue food operator.
Committtee deputy chairwoman Kylie Wihapi said the city hoped to make more use of its beautiful harbour.
‘‘We want to create some atmosphere down there and have businesses.
‘‘If we have commercial business down there, it’s an incentive for people to visit the area.’’
Though already used for waka launching, picnicking, and a chil- dren’s playground area, businesses setting up there would need to be self-supporting, possibly with power generators, as there was a lack of services on site.
The eastern ward councillor emphasised there would be no cost to the council apart from staff time.
If the businesses were successful in attracting more people, it may encourage other suitable activities and potentially more permanent commercial or residential development.
Isthmus Group Landscape Architects came up with a threestage concept plan.
The first stage would identify locations for small portable commercial outlets with the potential to build boatshed-type structures that would house new operators as these became more successful.
A jetty could also be built to encourage access out into the harbour, and a boardwalk along the edge of a larger landscaped area.
Stage two would see the con- struction of a pier pavilion and a new plaza pavilion, a new water access and enhancement of the connection to the Pataka art museum and the rest of the CBD.
Stage three would bring the development of land in partnership with a private landowner to provide commercial or residential accommodation.
The boatshed-type buildings could then be shifted along.