Christchurch designer for CBD upgrade

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012
Invercargill CBD concept

An early design opportunity sketch for the Invercargill CBD by Pocock design:environment, showing the type of links with green spaces it would like to create.

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Christchurch company Pocock design:environment has been chosen to design the upgrade of Invercargill's CBD.

The Invercargill City Council announced the Inner City Working Group's decision yesterday.

Pocock will be employed to produce a design plan for the CBD including concept art.

It was one of three companies which presented to the working group on November 5, and was unanimously chosen.

The council has set aside $130,000 for the work.

Pocock has worked on designs for the redevelopment of South City for the South Alive group, which has also been funded by the council.

Company director Craig Pocock said he was excited by the opportunity. A consultation plan had not been finalised, but he expected to work with every sector of the wider Invercargill community, not just CBD business interests.

"Our proposal was all about consultation, creating a process which allows lots of different people to express how they see the CBD. There will be some pretty solid consultation, but we have to talk through the details."

He wanted the consultation process finalised by Christmas.

The CBD did not need a total overhaul, but there were areas which could be improved, he said.

Better links between the CBD, Queen's Park and the Otepuni Gardens, which he called the city's "green frame", were a possibility.

Wachner Place also needed to be addressed. Mr Pocock said some people felt comfortable there but many did not.

"Whether it's a total makeover or some editing, we have to talk to the community about that."

"The CBD is for many, many people. It's for local retailers and local residents [and] it is also for tourists passing through to the Catlins or Stewart Island . . . we want the CBD to capture those guys as well."

Council director of works and services Cameron McIntosh said Pocock would be expected to meet targets set by the working group and to remain in budget.

"We are expecting to see Pocock back here quite soon to work out the detail," he said.

None of the three final bidders - Queenstown-based Baxter Design Group, CCM Architects Ltd from Wellington and Pocock - were based in Invercargill.

Mr McIntosh said they were expected to work with local companies on their designs.

That Pocock had also worked on the South City designs was not a factor in the decision, he said.

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- The Southland Times

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