New lane first step on Hawera's multi-million dollar town centre upgrade
A new open air lane connecting a free car park with the main street launches Hawera's $12.8 million town centre revamp.
South Taranaki District Council has just released concept designs for Campbell Lane and development co-ordinator Phil Waite said physical work on the project would start early in the new year.
"The aim is to better connect Cornish's car park with the main street retail area and improve use of the free, unrestricted parking that is available," he said.
The project would involve demolishing the old, earthquake-prone, Campbell building on High Street, to create an open-air pedestrian thoroughfare.
In the space there would be a combination of paving and greenspace, with espaliered planting on the side wall, trees, seating, entrance pillars which reflect the old building and a number of lighting columns that lead through to Cornish's car park.
The town redevelopment project also included lighting improvements, redeveleoping the existing town square, creating a new civic greenspace and redesigning traffic flows to encourage better use of the town centre, along with a new library and civic centre.
This was still in early planning stages, Waite said.
"The plan is that this new building would combine a library, public toilets, art gallery and exhibition space, information centre and possibly bus stop into one central location.
"Possibly additional retail space and a cafe could be considered if private business wanted to enter into some sort of joint venture."
He said public response to the town centre redevelopment proposals had been very positive and already a number of private initiatives were being planned.
"On the Campbell Lane project council is working closely with a private investor who has bought the neighbouring (empty) building as they are also keen to redevelop," he said.
"This is fantastic because one of the key goals underpinning the town centre redevelopment was that it would be a catalyst to drive change and to encourage private enterprise to invest in the town centre."
The project would have no impact on rates, he said.
It would be funded by loan and repaid using some of the earnings from the council's Long Term Investment Fund.
Council would seek external funding for certain parts of the overall developmentt.