Celebrating the birth of a new town centre
Auckland Council celebrates the birth of its newest town centre tomorrow – 175 years after the city’s foundations were first laid.
The council has made a long-term investment in the development of the Westgate Town Centre, with significant growth planned over the next five to 10 years.
Mayor Len Brown and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse joined Upper Harbour MP and Local Government Minister Paula Bennett for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at on Thursday 1 October to herald the opening of the first stage – the $155 million NorthWest Shopping Centre.
The mall, built over the past 18 months by Stride Property Ltd, formerly DNZ, is part of the wider development master plan by New Zealand Retail Property Group in collaboration with Auckland Council.
The council has provided key core development infrastructure, including new roads, stormwater ponds and an open spaces networks to facilitate a co-ordinated private sector development.
Auckland Council is also providing public amenities with the first completed project being a new town square – Te Pûmanawa – located in the heart of the town centre to support expansion.
John Dunshea, Auckland Council’s Manager City Transformation Projects, says: “The opening of Te Pûmanawa and the NorthWest Shopping Centre is a great achievement and is part of the long-term development of the Westgate area.
“Planning for the town centre development was completed in 2012 after a long process and is a great example of what can be achieved when the council, community and developers work together.”
The town square is part of the council’s major contribution to the Westgate development and will connect the 26,000sqm NorthWest Shopping Centre to a planned new library and community centre to be located on the western corner of the square.
This 3500sqm multipurpose facility will be a state of the art community hub, combining a library, community spaces and functions in one high-tech building, with construction expected to start in early 2016.
Auckland Council also has ongoing developments proposed over the next few years including a town park, a skate park, and a bus interchange. Park and ride facilities to provide improved public transport links are also in the planning stage.
The District Plan allows for the construction of approximately 1500 residential units and makes provision for a large area of privately-developed commercial land on either side of Northside Drive, which will bring new employment to the area.
There is potential for 10,000 new jobs to be created by the time the development is fully completed.
Te Pûmanawa, the town square, includes a high-quality shared space, which allows for cars, but prioritises pedestrian movements to create a friendly environment for shoppers and people enjoying the square.
Shared spaces have been extremely successful in the city centre and will help define the new town centre as easy to get around, a place to meet and somewhere for people to gather and enjoy.
A dawn blessing will took place at Te Pûmanawa on Wednesday 30 September, and the NorthWest Shopping Centre was officially opened Thursday 1 October after a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The opening celebrations continued all weekend.