Flat Bush development pact signed

By Anne Gibson

Plans for a new $1 billion town centre to serve 40,000 people at Flat Bush moved a step closer yesterday, with the signing of a major development agreement.

Private developer Melview Developments - which created part of the Viaduct Basin on the waterfront - and Tomorrow's Manukau Properties, owned by Manukau City, signed an agreement which they called the most significant step yet in the Flat Bush project.

Nigel McKenna, of Melview, said the new centre would be a residential, commercial and retail hub within Auckland. Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis said the project would bring a new, yet traditional-style town centre with an emphasis on public transport to reduce dependence on cars. Manukau City bought the land for Flat Bush in 1996. About 15,000 people have moved into the area in the past three years. Seven new schools are planned as well as five smaller neighbourhood-business centres.

A range of housing is being built, from low to high-density. Bulk earthworks, roading and infrastructure construction are under way.

On completion, the town centre will be worth more than $1 billion, the parties said yesterday. It will cover about 20 hectares. A master plan will be presented next year and construction of the first stage is expected to start in 2010.

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