Anna is a reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Options developed for city centre

1 comment
THE PLANS: Tauranga City Councillor Gail McIntosh and Mayor Stuart Crosby stand with the proposed master plan civic space options. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER
THE PLANS: Tauranga City Councillor Gail McIntosh and Mayor Stuart Crosby stand with the proposed master plan civic space options. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER

Tauranga City Council's buildings are set to go, parking spaces are to be increased, and a new library and museum could be built under plans proposed for developing Tauranga's Civic Heart.

The Civic Space Options Project team would showcase three options, ranging in scale, to the council on April 27.

While the council buildings would be demolished and rebuilt in every plan with a new public carpark built below, the library would be refurbished in the first option, re-purposed in second, and demolished and rebuilt elsewhere on-site in the third.

The least ambitious option would require a net investment of $33,941,688, according to council figures.

Read more: $520m bypass for busy Tauranga bottleneck

The options also consider a museum, performance venue, city square, hotel, retail and hospitality activity, and accessibility.

Chief executive of Tauranga City Council Garry Poole said he hoped the proposals would revitalise and increase the economic wealth of the CBD.

"We all need to just see this as a huge opportunity to change the nature and vibrancy and shape of the city," Mr Poole said.

The preferred option would be chosen as part of a Long Term Plan Amendment, after they had consulted the community.

Mayor Stuart Crosby said there had been a "considerable" number of people and groups who had given feedback on the Civic Space Options Project, after toxic mould was found in the council's Willow St buildings in November 2014.

He said the priorities would be the development of the administration building and council buildings, supporting the carpark, and creating an open civic space.

"At the moment, Red Square is our default city centre, and frankly it's a little tiny courtyard.

"We're proposing a purpose-built city centre that has direct access to our waterfront," he said.

Subject to the consultation in June/July, Mr Crosby said a two-year time frame for the civic space would not be unreasonable.

Mr Crosby said the development of a new performance venue, as proposed on "most ambitious" Option Three plan, would tap into the entertainment and conference market "we are missing out on".

He also said now was the right time to discuss the possibility of a new museum building. "I think the really exciting opportunity is that it won't be a dusty old museum ... it will more than likely if it goes ahead, be a high tech one," he said.

When asked how likely the possibility of a museum would be, Councillor Gail McIntosh said it would will be interesting to see what people thought.

"I think everyone wants to see a museum but they're not prepared to pay for it," she said.

Incubator director Simone Anderson said the construction of a museum for Tauranga was "an absolute no brainer".

"It's really important, it just enhances our city," she said.

Read more: More young athletes stay in Bay

She said the museum would help to show work from creative and cultural sectors in the area, and the different stages of the city.

Cr McIntosh said Option Three could possibly take 25 years to complete, if chosen.

The Civic Space Options report showed refurbishment of the Council Administration building, the Customer Service Centre building and the Council Chambers building would not be cost-effective or financially viable.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 30 Sep 2016 12:16:16 Processing Time: 784ms