Green ‘pocket park’ planned for city
A new ‘‘pocket park’’ will open in central Hastings before the end of the year.
The park will be 10 metres wide and 30 metres long, acting as a small city green space and pedestrian connection between Heretaunga Street and the Queen Street West car park.
The landscaping plan is still at the concept stage. However, it will include seating areas, gardens, shelter and art work.
The space at 325 Heretaunga Street is currently a building occupied by Buy4Less, and previously State Insurance, but it was purchased by Hastings District Council this month.
Acting Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was the perfect opportunity to build connections in the area, beautify the block and provide a public space.
‘‘We have a strategy that is about making our city as attractive and vibrant as we can,’’ she said. ‘‘Projects like this one, which improve access and connectivity, are a key part of that.’’
The building will be demolished, but with key architectural features retained where possible, potentially including the art deco facade.
Councillor Damon Harvey said the pocket park had a lot of possibilities. ‘‘As well as being a park to relax in it will give us another creative space, lending itself to mini events and music.’’
The introduction of pocket parks into the central city was first mooted in 2013, as part of The Hastings City Centre Strategy. It also encouraged the council to develop pedestrian connections between off-street parking areas and the shopping precinct.
The budget for the project is $1,030,000, including purchase and development.
Acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst and councillor Damon Harvey outside the building which will be demolished to create the green space.
An artist’s impression of the green space.