An ambitious plan to create a vibrant and successful city centre in Tauranga, called the Heart of the City project, will be officially launched tomorrow.The council has been asked to support taking an expanded approach to the city centre - building on the pre-election Civic Space Options project that largely dealt with the redevelopment of the downtown civic block.
Public feedback on the civic options project showed that many people were thinking about the whole of the downtown.
The expansion of the project scope was also in response to expert feedback that a more holistic approach was needed to better deliver on the investment objectives to create a vibrant, safe and successful city centre.
A 56-page report to tomorrow'smeeting said that Heart of the City would allow better integration of the civic space projects within the city centre.
"This place-based approach is recognised internationally as a successful approach to creating vibrant and successful city centres," council strategic planner Adele Hadfield said.
Pre-election consultation showed strong community support to build a new civic administration building and library, a museum and performance venue, and turning Masonic Park into a civic square.
Councillors will be asked to endorse the approach to procuring the new civic administration building in which it would be built by a private sector partner and leased to the council. They will also be asked to adopt the business case approach to securing the museum, library and performance venue.
The Heart of the City programme would sit alongside other council studies - the Compact City project and the Urban Centres Assessment project.
Councillors will also revisit the appointment of an independent panel of experts called the technical advisory group. They would support the council with the planning and delivery of Heart of the City, providing both a sounding board and to champion design leadership for the city centre and in the wider community.
Ms Hadfield said the scope of influence of the advisory group responded to feedback from the public and design community that the focus on one inner-city block was too narrow and was "counter intuitive'' to good design outcomes.
The current picture of key projects to be included in the Heart of the City programme were commercial, tertiary, residential, retail and Bay of Plenty Regional Council. The "look and feel" aspect of Heart of the City would consider the places and spaces framework, access to water, Durham St, Aspen Reserve and Elizabeth St.
One goal of the programme would be to encourage more people to live in and around the city centre, with an internationally branded hotel and conference centre also in the frame.
Tomorrow'smeeting would also decide whether to renew the lease over 1400sq m of beachfront reserve to the Omanu Surf Club for a further 10 years, with two renewal terms of 10 years, expiring in 2046.