Durham Street, Wharf Street and Elizabeth Street could be upgraded during the next three years as part of the Heart of the City programme.
Councillors will consider the City Transformation Committee's recommendation for expanding the scope of the streetscape design area and priority approach at its Council meeting on Tuesday, February 21.
Aspen Reserve, Durham Street, Wharf Street east, Elizabeth Street east and The Strand Extension adjacent to Regional House are identified as areas to invest in first because of the recent and planned private and public sector development on them.
Upgrading these streets would also improve safety and provide better amenity for pedestrians and road users. It's their ability to attract investment in the city centre and encourage more visitors and locals to the city that has convinced the committee.
The City Centre Streetscape Amenity and Waterfront Upgrade project is part of the Heart of the City Programme, the purpose of which is to create a vibrant, safe and successful city centre.
“Focusing on these areas enables us to work with the private and public sector, including the Tertiary Partnership, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and James Pascoe Group (who own the Farmers site). Together, we can achieve more for the community,” says committee chairman Larry Baldock.
Durham Street has seen considerable private and public sector development recently, with the completion of the Trustpower building and with the eminent tertiary campus and prospective student accommodation projects.
“It makes sense to align an upgrade to Durham Street and nearby Durham Lane with these projects. Likewise, the opportunity to work in partnership to improve the access and pedestrian links and transform the eastern end of Elizabeth Street into a more park-like setting with improved access to the water.”
The council set aside $8 million in the current Long Term Plan, of which $3.3 million is being spent on the waterfront stair, due for completion in April this year. That leaves $4.8 million to be redistributed to other projects.
The council will engage with business and property owners as well as the wider community and stakeholders during the concept design and planning phase, says Larry.