Ward Street was permanently closed to traffic this week to allow development of the Centre Place shopping centre.
The closure is the first step in the creation of a public space encompassing an external dining area adjacent to the Centre Place foodcourt, concept stores, a covered passage between both parts of Centre Place and landscaping.
The works comprise part of Kiwi Income Property Trust's $39.9 million redevelopment of the centre which will feature a new, two-level, 7000 sq m Farmers department store.
Farmers will take a 15-year lease over their new premises, with a target opening date before Christmas next year.
The redevelopment also features new premises for Rebel Sport and a range of specialty retailers.
During the development management and contractors will try to minimise disruption for pedestrians, retailers and shoppers.