A Lower Hutt mayoral challenger wants to give High St some "oomph", unveiling ambitious plans that include a covered mall, hotel, skating rink and a merry-go-round.
"We've got to turn it up, and we need to do it fast or Wellington will overwhelm Lower Hutt," Phil Stratford said.
Entertainment stages, a skating rink and a fairground merry-go-round would help create a vibrant area. "I want to create an environment where people come in for the day. For years it's been a mess and I want to fix it. It's in limbo at the moment, and it needs some oomph."
The cost of the development was not yet available, he said. However, it would be funded by private investors, not ratepayers.
The next stage was high-density housing between the proposed covered mall and the riverbank. A key was the establishment of a four-star 240-room hotel. "I'm confident of pulling this together, and it will introduce capital of at least $100 million into our city."
Mayor Ray Wallace said the CBD had struggled in recent years, but several developments were in the pipeline. These included the transformation of an inner-city building into eight apartments in High St.
He questioned claims that ratepayers' cash would not fund the development. "It sounds like it has the makings of a Tui ad."
- © Fairfax NZ News
How would you rate your mathematical skill?Related story: Kiwi maths performance concerns