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Hamilton CBD – Now is the time

Media Release

28 July 2014

Hamilton CBD – Now is the time

While there have been some encouraging developments happening in recent times, Hamilton’s city centre like many around the world has been on the decline for many years evident with vacancies, social issues, poor quality rental stock and valuation decline.

Property Council Waikato, Hamilton City Council, Greenstone Group, Chow:Hill Architects and Naylor Love are coming together to host a forum on the issues facing the city with a focus on the opportunities.

Mayor Julie Hardaker will speak about the work council has done to date regarding the critical areas of the CBD’s improvement plans.

Other speakers at the forum, including Don Lindberg from Waitakere Properties involved in the regeneration of Henderson, will hold a comparative analysis with other cities with focus on the “how” for Hamilton.

Hamilton is at a crossroads where bold decisions will assist to set the central city on the right path. It is an opportune time for discussing policy changes that enable progressive developments and encourage economic prosperity for the city’s heart.

Waikato Branch President Rob Dol says there are some very real opportunities for the central city and if the sector can get traction on some of the various solutions.

“Our views and ideas have stemmed from the people working on the ground locally, who know the market and what works practically in addition to what is commercially viable.

“We want to see the right development enabled to contribute to a sustainable central city that can help lead the transformation into a truly prosperous business environment for the region. This is not about a short-term fix. Bold changes now will lead to long-term results and the flow-on effect will benefit all Hamiltonians.

“There is no grand solution to solve the progressive decline and it won’t come down to one adjustment here-and-there. There will be the need for a combination of focused and coordinated changes to make a tangible impact that involves the property industry, business sector and Hamilton City Council.”

Brian Squair from Chow:Hill Architects believes prosperous CBD retail is an outcome of a city centre that has higher footfall due to increased commercial and residential density. More people equals more retail.

“A lack of companies with a large staff-base combined with the lack of people living close to the city centre makes for a demise in retail, especially for the likes of high-street shops.”

He says there are vacant offices too, which tend to be the older premises as businesses move staff to newer facilities. But there needs to be an attractive package and value proposition for companies to relocate to Hamilton.

“Hamilton has a lot going for it including its proximity, cost of living, accessibility, great education facilities, friendly environment - people that live here love it. It just needs to fix a few things commercially to attract more business with staff that will work, live, play in this city too.”

Presenters include Don Lindberg from Waitakere Properties, Brian Squair from Chow:Hill, and professor Iain White from University of Waikato whom will also facilitate the event.

The event will be held on 30 July. Registration is essential. For more details contact Tracey Plank tracey@propertynz.co.nz

END.


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