Manurewa to get a new streetscape
Streetscape construction is under way as part of efforts to transform a busy shopping precinct.
A public-private partnership between Manurewa Local Board and Southmall shopping centre is set to improve "connectivity" in Manurewa town centre and pedestrian flow along Great South Rd.
Local board chairwoman Angela Dalton says she wants to see more people using the town centre.
The initial work will make the pedestrian area of Great South Rd adjacent to Southmall more user-friendly, Dalton says.
"This will be complemented by a covered walkway from Southmall's western entrance to the public transport hub.
"We want to open Great South Rd and improve connections to our shopping area.
"This is consistent with the desire of the board, Manurewa Business Association and Southmall to revitalise the town centre over time. This is an exciting time for Manurewa."
Work has begun on the $1.5 million covered walkway, which is funded by the board and is expected to be completed by December.
Town centre manager Wendy Dunn says the construction marks the start of the area's "transformation".
It will be followed by work to improve usability for local train and bus commuters as well as pedestrians within the shopping centre's car park, she says.
"We want people to walk, shop and travel safely, keep dry in all seasons, and make the town centre friendlier for pedestrians.
"We're determined to back local businesses."
Dunn says the covered walkway will provide a "seamless transition" regardless of weather for public transport users heading to Southmall.
"It will open up more opportunities for people to shop comfortably.
"The Manurewa train station is the fourth biggest in Auckland.
"We get a lot of all-day parkers here and this increases the likelihood of them going to the town centre with the convenience of not getting wet."
Southmall shopping centre manager Neil Punja says over time he expects to see the town centre being vastly improved.
His vision includes the development of apartments and terraced housing adjacent to public transport.
"We've got space for mixed-use residential housing and we want to get developers interested in these sites for mid- to long-term development."