New Supermarket will help revitalise Town Centre
Monday, July 25, 2016
Hawera's Town Centre redevelopment project got a major boost today with the South Taranaki District Council’s (STDC) announcement that it has agreed to sell a portion of its public car park on Victoria Street to local developers to build a new supermarket.
STDC chief executive, Craig Stevenson says the decision was made after a local consortium approached the Council last year to see if it would consider selling the land for a new supermarket development.
“We undertook public consultation on this in December last year and the response was overwhelmingly in favour of the sale,” says Mr Stevenson. “Of the 264 people and organisations that responded an impressive 93% were in favour of selling the land with only 7% opposed.”
Mr Stevenson says the Council had the land independently valued and has negotiated an agreed market price. Money received from the sale will be used to fund other town centre projects. The developers have also agreed to contribute an additional $200,000 towards the reconfiguration of portions of Nelson and Union streets..
Mr Stevenson says the approach by the developers was very timely given the work the Council was doing on the town centre and he believes the project will completely revitalise the area.
“The whole carpark area will be re-oriented and re-designed with much improved traffic flows and pedestrian access,” says Mr Stevenson. “Once the existing supermarket is demolished, there will actually be more parking than there is now. We have also retained ownership of the land around existing businesses to ensure continued access and plan to incorporate new paving around these businesses to enhance the whole area.”
“As with any new development there will be some significant short term disruption. When the development is finished parking will still be free, but the majority of it will be subject to a 2 hour time limit. People who previously parked all day in the public car park area, will need to find alternative parking,” says Stevenson.
One alternative which the Council is already working on is the Campbell Lane project which plans to open up the underused ‘Cornishs’ car park and better connect it with the High Street retail area. Demolition work is already underway and the re-development work is planned to be completed in time for the Christmas period.
“I think this development is a great example of the Council and the business community working together to create a great result for the town,” says Mr Stevenson.
“One of the key goals underpinning Council’s Town Centre strategy was that it would be a catalyst to drive change and to encourage private enterprise to invest in the town centre – and that is exactly what we are seeing happen.”
Bizlink, the Hawera Business Association also agrees.
“This decision means that we retain a major retail outlet and anchor point in the centre of town which we think is absolutely vital for the long term sustainability and vibrancy of the CBD,” says Bizlink Chair Gary Brown.
“The development will create new job opportunities and provide a real shot of confidence for the local economy,” says Brown.