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Victoria Park market site gets new lease on life

20 December 2005

Victoria Park market site gets new lease on life

A redevelopment incorporating aspects of old and new is set to revitalise the historic part of the Victoria Park market site.

Auckland City's Planning Fixtures Committee today approved a resource consent for a complete heritage refurbishment of the western sector of the Victoria Park market site.

Vijay Lala, central area planning manager, says the development recognises the heritage value of this site by seeking to preserve its historic qualities whilst introducing some new structures. Unsympathetic later additions will be removed as part of the refurbishment.

"The Victoria Park market is a significant landmark within the central business district as well as an important heritage asset for the city. This redevelopment will restore the historic aspects whilst making appropriate changes and additions to ensure the commercial viability of the development," he says.

"In addition, the proposal will enable better visual and physical linkages through the site via a viewing platform and stairs from Drake Street."

The original brick buildings and chimney on the site were built in 1904 to house the city's refuse incinerator. The plant was closed in 1972 and, in 1984, sold by the council for use as a market.

The first stage of the redevelopment will include: * demolition of the pedestrian overpass and further demolition of other 1980's additions that detract from heritage qualities of the site * substantial improvements to the exterior façade of the historic brick buildings, including replacing bricks and repairing cracks, as well as the infilling of existing openings with brick and a new access point in the Victoria Street façade to increase pedestrian access into the market * internal extensions of existing shops and new glazed verandahs * construction of a new viewing platform and stairs will improve access from Drake Street through the market to Victoria Park.

The work approved today is the first stage in a comprehensive redevelopment of the site, with work on the eastern sector to be progressed later. That part of the redevelopment will include the removal of the existing carpark and construction of a multi-level apartment. It is subject to a separate resource consent that is still progress.

The site covered in this development is part of the Victoria Quarter, an area bounded by Hobson, Union and Fanshawe streets including Victoria Park. This distinct area is seen as the dynamic western fringe, which will provide a diverse choice of inner city urban living and working opportunities.

One of the key aspirations of Auckland's CBD into the Future strategy and Victoria Quarter plan is to guide new developments to ensure good urban design and build on existing creative industry and residential trends in the area. The refurbishment of Victoria Park market is seen as an important key action of the quarter plan. It will be a significant catalyst for redevelopment within the quarter, which is already occurring through the redevelopment of a number of key sites.

ENDS

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