The overhaul of streets surrounding the Thirty Eight Elizabeth development are set to start this week.
The upgrade of the area, including Elizabeth St, Devonport Rd, First Ave and the lane between Elizabeth St and First Ave is one step closer with the contract being awarded to Hawkins, Tauranga City Council said in a statement today.
Works will start on First Ave this week with the installation of a central raised crossing. The streetscape upgrade is planned to be completed in time with the Thirty Eight Elizabeth development.
The council said: "The upgrade of Elizabeth Street aims to create an attractive and safe, people-friendly environment for everyone to enjoy entailing a pedestrian-focused, slow-speed environment for Elizabeth St and its surrounds.
"The upgrade also contributes to the 'green necklace' of connected walkways around the city centre and reflects the redevelopment of Tauranga's city centre as a place for people.
"This project is part of council's continuing journey to bring life back to the city centre and create a great place to live, work and visit," the statement said.
Hawkins, who are also leading the construction of the Thirty Eight Elizabeth development, have been confirmed as the construction partner for the council-led streetscape improvement.
The council's Community Services General Manager Gareth Wallis acknowledged the importance of the upgrade for the city centre.
"The city centre plays an important role as the commercial, cultural and civic heart of the sub-region and our community has told us that a vibrant city centre is one of the top things they'd like to see changed.
"Upgrading Elizabeth St is another step towards this and one of many projects aiming to attract more people to live, work, play and invest in the city centre. It will increase business and economic activity and provide a space for everyone to enjoy and to move around safely," Wallis said.
"We will be working closely with Hawkins, our construction partner, and the surrounding businesses to make this project happen and keep people informed as we work our way through the development."
Project manager of Thirty Eight Elizabeth Brett Nicholls said they were very pleased to see council's support of this critical area of town.
"It will complement the transformational Thirty Eight Elizabeth development, which will be home to the new flagship Farmers retail store, along with boutique food and beverage offerings- all on track to be open for Christmas shopping.
"The first display townhouse and apartment will be available for public viewing in the last quarter of this year too. Construction of the towers, and fit out of the apartments, will be ongoing until early next year."
Works on much-needed underground renewals are already under way.
Those works have been completed on First Ave and are due to be completed on Elizabeth St and Devonport Rd by July 2021.
Construction of the streetscape upgrade will be completed in stages. Businesses will remain open during construction.