$15m for multi-purpose Kapiti centre
A council feasibility report into a Kapiti Island gateway centre has recommended a $15 million-plus facility including a cafe, theatre and departure lounge.
The gateway centre would replace the boating club building at Paraparaumu Beach and could be the home for an iSite.
Speaking yesterday, mayor Ross Church said Kapiti Island needs more visitors.
"We want more people to go there, we want to make more of a visual effort on the waterfront to help people get to the island."
Church said the council would not likely be funding the entire project if it went ahead - there could be a high cost and the council "can't afford to fund everything".
"But we need to be a very good advocate and a very good alliance partner - we need to work with all the people involved."
Kapiti Coast District Council split the $30,000 cost of the feasibility study with the Department of Conservation.
The report recommended the gateway centre as the best of four options, with a cost that would come in over $15m.
It estimates the centre could generate about $1m annually in revenue, which would offset expected costs of $400,000 to $1m.
"Economic impact will include value added expenditure and the creation of employment. It will also include the indirect contribution to the image and competitiveness of Kapiti as a visitor destination and the amenity value of Paraparaumu beachfront in particular."
The report recommends a public-private partnership to build the project as "no individual stakeholder has offered development finance nor signalled a desire to lead the establishment or management".
Championing the public side of the partnership organisation will most likely fall to council, the report said.
A staff report to councillors said the council has not committed to supporting the project beyond the feasibility study.
"No funding has been earmarked for further work."
The council would consider further involvement in its economic development review, and a review of its visitor information network.
Any money for the project would be included in its longterm plan, reviewed next year and setting out spending for at least ten years.
BELLS AND WHISTLES
The recommended $15m-plus gateway centre would include:
Improved boating club, Coastguard and underwater club facilities Biosecurity and departure lounge facilities for Kapiti Island tourism ventures and the Department of Conservation.
A purpose-built theatre as a visitor attraction telling the stories of Kapiti for DOC and iwi. An iSite for wider tourism in Kapiti run by the council.
"Substantial landscaping and site works are envisaged, leading to improved traffic flows and pedestrian linkages between the Boating Club, Paraparaumu beachfront and Paraparaumu Beach shops."
- Kapiti Island Gateway Centre Feasibility Report
- Kapiti Observer
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