Tauranga City Council has voted to proceed to tender and construction of the Wharf Street Upgrade.
In a council meeting on 27 August, elected members asked staff to seek a commitment from Wharf Street businesses for a funding arrangement to support the streetscape development, and to report back before the election.
Staff have since told Council that they had received a commitment through Memoranda of Understanding from all current Wharf Street hospitality businesses to take up Licence to Occupy arrangements and associated fees.
"A contractual agreement was also reached to underwrite the anticipated return to Council from those Licence to Occupy for the first three years," says a council spokesperson.
"The $5.56 million budget for the project includes $320,000 which has already been spent on design work.
"It will also fund contingency and risk to ensure that the project can be delivered within budget, should unforeseen issues arise during construction."
Council says the project will meet City Centre Spatial Framework goals of putting people first, celebrating culture and heritage, attracting residents to the city centre, and helping businesses to thrive.
"The Wharf Street upgrade will provide a safe and relaxing space for people in the city centre, replace infrastructure that is due for servicing, and will turn the street into an area that can be used for exciting events.
"For the next steps of this project, council will work closely with the businesses to manage disruption during construction. Work on Wharf Street is scheduled to begin around Easter 2020."