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Albany a dynamic city centre for the future

Albany a dynamic city centre for the future

"Albany will be a dynamic city centre of which we can all be proud." This is the new vision for this developing area in northern North Shore City and is based on feedback from the local community.

The vision and a concept framework outlining how the centre could take shape has been endorsed by North Shore City's strategy and finance committee as a basis for further consultation with key stakeholders in the area.

Committee chairperson, Tony Holman, says Albany is an important area for the city and the Auckland region at large.

"We want to make sure that our community has the opportunity to contribute to a centre that they are proud of and that visitors will enjoy coming back to," he says.

"We will continue to work as closely as possible with major landowners in the area such as Westfield New Zealand and The Neil Group, the local community and key interest groups to ensure that we get it right," says Councillor Holman.

About 950 people responded to North Shore City Council's 'Albany Centre - Help us plan the future' newsletter which outlined different scenarios for the future development of the centre, with 890 people making specific comments. It asked people how happy they were with the centre's development so far, what they liked and disliked about the area, and whether they thought it should become a business park and mall, a town centre with precincts, a city centre or a centre at a point between these scenarios.

North Shore City's Albany Centre project manager, Tracy Ogden, says feedback showed that many people were disappointed with the way in which the Albany Centre had developed.

Only nine per cent of respondents wanted a business park and mall which would entail a hands-off approach to planning, no changes to the District Plan and minimal investment in public facilities. Twenty-five per cent thought Albany should be a town centre with precincts, twenty-two per cent felt it should be a city centre while twenty-five per cent favoured something in between.

Miss Ogden says the framework envisages a sustainable city centre that is vibrant, diverse and interesting.

"It is made up of a range of precincts that are well integrated, and have good transport and pedestrian links. The central precincts will have a diverse mix of businesses, retail, entertainment and residential apartments. Within this area there will be a 'heart' combining civic and commercial buildings, boutique shopping, cafés and nightlife, green open space and some residential housing," she says.

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