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Aotea Square – into the future

MEDIA RELEASE
18 June 2005

Aotea Square – into the future

The future of Aotea Square will be considered by the combined committees of Auckland City Council next week as decisions are made to progress the Aotea Square upgrade and the Civic Underground Carpark repair project to the value of $73 million.

This $73 million includes the replacement of the carpark roof, the upgrade of Aotea Square and replacing the forecourt of the Aotea Centre. It does not include expanding the carpark or development of the West Bledisloe site.

Auckland City proposes to spend $6.4 million this financial year on necessary work that will enable the combined project to get underway quickly. This work includes project documentation, obtaining the necessary consents, tendering of works and appointment of a main contractor. This funding also includes feasibility studies on including enhancements to the façade of the Aotea Centre and options to expand the Civic Car Park.

Auckland City is looking to upgrade the Aotea Square as part of Auckland’s CBD Into the future strategy to ensure that it is upgraded to a standard befitting Auckland’s premier civic square and to enable The Edge® to continue using the space as a world class area for events.

Temporary shelter for outdoor events, technology linkages between Aotea Square and other parts of the CBD to enable linked events, a big screen and other technology to promote events are being explored as possible options to be incorporated into the new design.

Councillor Vern Walsh, chairperson of the Finance and Corporate Business committee says, “We know major work is needed on the carpark project and we will integrate this with the upgrade of the square. These are both huge projects for Auckland City, and we will be looking at all the options to minimise the impact on public and businesses.”

The requirement that the car park roof be replaced, a significant project in its own right, has meant that a lot of work has been done to co-ordinate all the elements of both projects.

“The square upgrade project is the first stage of the development of the Aotea Quarter that aims to add a dynamic and exciting arts, culture and democratic infrastructure to the city’s mix. The whole area will play an important role in the economic vitality of the city,” said Mr Walsh.

There is likely to have a significant impact on the Civic Car Park, Aotea Centre and Auckland Town Hall and this is being assessed. This will be reported back to committee in approximately three months once all scenarios have been fully explored.

Ends

Note
If the Civic Car Park is to be closed during the works, substitute car parking options are being explored.
The Civic Car Park accounts for around 16 per cent of the council’s off-street car parks, or around 5 per cent of public off-street car parks available in the CBD.
Auckland City Parking manages 5,618 off-street car parks in the central area. Auckland City also manages just over 4,000 on-street car parks.
There are almost 13,000 car parks managed by independent operators such as Wilson’s and Tournament Parking.

The report to Combined Committee will be available on www.aucklandcity.govt.nz from Monday 20 June 2005.

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