Feedback sought on options for Tauranga City Council building

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Tauranga City Council is asking the public for its feedback on what should happen with its two-hectare Willow St headquarters.

In November 2014 toxic mould was discovered in the council's Willow Street buildings. Weather tightness, seismic and building services issues meant there was not a short term fix.

Community feedback through the reecnt Long Term Plan said instead of just fixing the building, the council should look at other options

Councillors asked staff to investigate how the following activities could contribute to the creation of Tauranga's civic heart: council offices, library, museum, performing arts centre, city square, conference centre, hotel, retail, hospitality activity, i-Site, accessibility and car parking.

The next steps of the Civic Space Options project will be to assess the economic benefits, affordability, timing and funding avenues for various options, and the development of masterplans showing how various options could be physically delivered. The community will continue to be involved throughout the project.

Mayor Stuart Crosby said Tauranga had a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a civic precinct that contributed to an active, safe and vibrant city centre.

"Council is in the unique position of requiring a long-term site for our offices, at the same time as owning the largest central city site.

"Council's Civic Space Options Project is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the public and private sector to work together to create a world-class civic heart in Tauranga - one of New Zealand's fastest growing cities.

To achieve this, we will bring fresh thinking to planning ahead for the future 10, 20, 30 years to enhance the desirability, vibrancy and economic sustainability for the city and community.

"What we all decide will represent a significant investment in the long-term future of our city, so it's important that we get this right," Mr Crosby said.

Elected Members and council staff were at Bayfair Shopping Centre today getting feedback form the public. Further and will be at the following locations in coming weeks:

Little Big Market Papamoa - Saturday, January 16 from 9am
Greerton Village Green - Tuesday, January 19 from 10.30am to 2pm
Papamoa Plaza - Thursday, January 28 from 9am to 5pm
Bethlehem Town Centre - Thursday, February 4 from 10am to 2pm
Little Big Market Mount - Saturday, February 6 from 9am

People can also email their feedback to haveyoursay@tauranga.govt.nz or join in the conversation on Facebook.

For more information, go to www.tauranga.govt.nz/civicheart

- Bay of Plenty Times

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