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Auckland’s CBD revamp gets kick-start

Auckland’s CBD revamp gets kick-start

The revitalisation of Auckland City’s CBD will speed up significantly thanks to a decision by the council’s combined committees’ meeting today.

The vision for Auckland’s CBD is to create one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres.

Auckland City’s CBD Into the future strategy outlines the way the council plans for residential and business growth in the area and also deals with transport, environmental, social and cultural issues.

The strategy includes projects to improve the attractiveness of Queen street as a retail destination, upgrade Quay and Lorne streets, promote 24-hour activity, promote the CBD as a business location and to encourage the high quality design of new developments.

Combined committees approved a targeted rate for CBD residential and business ratepayers be levied to significantly speed up and greatly expand these projects, rather than rely on funding from the general rate alone.

The targeted rate will generate an additional $103 million over a 10-year period. This will be used specifically for CBD upgrade.

The targeted rate will mean residential property ratepayers will pay an additional flat rate of $1 per week or $52 per year in addition to rates currently charged.

The targeted rate proposed for the CBD businesses is linked to the council’s strategy to reduce the general rates paid by CBD businesses over a nine-year period.

The targeted rate for CBD business ratepayers will be set to match the reduction in their general rates. This means that over a ten-year period they pay the same as they do now, in real terms, allowing for inflation increases only.

“The CBD will become a better place to live and the area will be more attractive as a business destination,” said Councillor Mark Donnelly, chairperson of council’s Strategy and Governance Committee.

“Around the world, cities are investing in their CBD’s as a key to unlocking their region’s wealth and opportunities. They understand as Auckland City does that simply being the biggest business centre in the region or country is no longer enough to guarantee their CBD’s future success,” said Mr Donnelly.

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