|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Owners of properties in the triangle formed by Daly, High and Margaret streets will be contacted to canvass their views on the council’s riverside promenade project, which aims to revitalise the southern end of the CBD.
The council envisages a partnership with developers and owners to take advantage of the land’s proximity to the river and potential river views by building apartments, office space and retail space overlooking the river. A prominent feature could be a series of bridges between Daly Street and the stopbank to link the city and river. Buildings may even straddle the road. Cafes and shops could line the space between the buildings and promenade.
In the past two decades, the CBD’s centre of gravity has shifted northwards away from High Street. However, the promenade project will breathe life into the area and turn the city’s focus towards its most prominent geographical feature – the river.
Urban design manager Paki Maaka says the project has the potential to stimulate the Hutt CBD in much the same way as the boardwalk in New Plymouth has transformed that city by turning it round to face the sea.
“New Plymouth now has a real heart,” he says. “The boardwalk has created so many opportunities for development and I feel sure we could achieve something very similar here."
The promenade idea has been spurred on by Greater Wellington regional council’s intention to widen and raise the height of the stopbank where it protects the CBD. The affected area is between the Melling and Ewen bridges.
Design work will start later this year, with earthworks beginning in 2015-16. Hutt City Council has set aside nearly $10 million for 2015-16 to advance the project when stopbank work is finished.
The stopbank will be enlarged and raised by at least a metre. In addition, the river will be widened to give it extra capacity to deal with severe flooding. That will take away a big slice of the city’s two riverbank car parks, which are on a flood plain controlled by the regional council.