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Further impetus added to town centre

29 July 2005

Further impetus added to town centre

Waitakere Council is seeking to further increase activity levels in the Henderson Town Centre by looking at incorporating a café into the new Waitakere Central Library Development.

The café proposal comes after interest was expressed to the Council by a number of potential operators. Councillor Ross Dallow, Chair of the Council’s Project Special Committee, says that Council wants to do everything it can to increase the vibrancy and life of the Henderson Town Centre and that the café concept is another opportunity to do this.

“We still have to look at the concept and see if it will stack up commercially”, says Councillor Dallow. “We will do that through a business case process over the next two months”. However, from an initial feasibility analysis it appears that having a café within the concept will be a strong commercial proposition and will help deliver on Council’s goals for the Town Centre”.

Councillor Dallow dismisses any suggestion that the café would have a negative affect on the Henderson Town Centre or unfairly compete with existing commercial enterprises. “That’s just nonsense. This will be an entirely commercial proposition with Council leasing out space purely for a commercial return.

“If you look at examples of thriving café cultures around New Zealand and internationally, cafés seem to operate best in clusters – you only need to look at the strip in Christchurch, Courtney Place in Wellington or some of the more successful areas of Melbourne,” he says.

“A café in the Library will complement the existing restaurant culture developing in Henderson, and expert design advice tells us it will make the public plaza part of the Unitec and Library complex work better”, says Councillor Dallow.

The Council is currently seeking expressions of interest in the operation of a “grab and go” type facility (which has no provision for cooking facilities) and is likely to make a final decision as to whether to proceed with the café facility in September 2005.

ENDS

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