The Devonport-Takapuna Local Board endorsed the new concept design for a Takapuna town square on Tuesday, to go out for final feedback.
Council-controlled organisation Panuku Development Auckland, which has led the design project for the town square – against considerable opposition for its designs in 2017-18 – got a better response to its new concepts for a place where people can come together to meet & relax, children can play and celebrations can be held.
The design combines local feedback & expert masterplanning to give Takapuna a new heart.
Instead of removing the Anzac St carpark immediately, the new design places the town square beside Potters Park & the carpark, with other access from Hurstmere & Lake Rds.
The carpark at 40 Anzac St will stay open until early to mid-2021, when construction of the town square is due to begin.
Extensive feedback from the local community, the local board & other key players has been included in the design. The much-debated shape of the town square was decided in 2018, following feedback in 5300 submissions.
Local board chair enthusiastic about it
Local board chair Aidan Bennett said the design would enhance the desire of locals to connect the town centre to the beach: “It’s no secret I have been a big supporter of this type of progress for Takapuna, so it warms my heart to see plans such as this nearing fruition. Since being elected, I have focused on working closely with Panuku to bring about good outcomes for Takapuna.
“It’s very satisfying that Panuku has agreed to keep the Anzac St carpark open for as long as possible to ensure that Takapuna has plenty of parking during the Hurstmere Rd upgrade. With the new Gasometer carpark also coming on stream soon, car parking in Takapuna will be in abundance.
“I also appreciate the thought & effort that I know has gone into working out how the much-loved Sunday market could continue to operate, and how events such as Anzac Day could work in the space. I firmly believe this town square will be the beating heart of Takapuna, with spaces where we can hold events and get together.”
North Shore ward councillor & council planning committee chair Chris Darby said the design was the realisation of a great idea coming to life after a decade of careful planning: “Takapuna is a stunning location and well deserves this beautiful & inviting concept design, which has been so sensitively crafted by the landscape architects. It retains the promised market life and provides a much-needed social anchor to Takapuna.
“Along with the transformation of Hurstmere Rd, we are on track to see a reinvigorated Takapuna that is better equipped to cater for current & future residents, visitors & businesses.”
Takapuna Beach Business Association chief executive Terence Harpur said the town square design would unite beachgoers & Hurstmere Rd shoppers: “The town square will offer a fantastic place for pedestrians to wander & spend time between enjoying the variety of shops, outdoor seating & dining options in the town square & surrounding Anzac St, Lake Rd & Hurstmere Rd.”
Adrienne Young-Cooper, who chairs both council organisations Panuku & Auckland Transport, said she looked forward to hearing further feedback on the concepts from the community: “In these very challenging times for town centres around Auckland, it is great the local board & local community have a project that we hope will drive confidence in & improve the attractiveness of this lovely part of our city.”
Multiple perspectives taken into account
Panuku Development Auckland North priority location director Kate Cumberpatch said the design had been informed by multiple perspectives to reflect the desires & needs of Takapuna’s current & future community.
About the design
The design of the town square has been undertaken by Isthmus Group in partnership with mana whenua-appointed representatives Angell & Vern Rosier.
The design references the underground springs flowing from Lake Pupuke to Takapuna Beach and builds upon the meaning of Takapuna – Taka to collect, gather, assemble; and Puna spring, water, life. Each entrance acts as a wananga/gallery and references its closest water body – Waitemata Harbour, Lake Pupuke & the Hauraki Gulf.
The space has been designed to accommodate a range of events & activities, including concerts & a regular market. A possible market arrangement has the potential to provide a total 123 stalls – 86 within the public square, 17 along the lane & 20 along Hurstmere Rd.
The design includes places for people to sit & play in the sun or shade, with a proposed water feature & outdoor dining area. A potential location for the Anzac memorial has also been identified in the plan.
Over June & July, Panuku Development Auckland, in collaboration with the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, will undertake a public engagement process to seek views on whether the design meets the objectives that were identified through previous community engagement in 2017-18. Feedback will be sought through a mix of targeted stakeholder sessions & direct communications, as well as opportunities for the wider community to provide input.
Following this, the plan will move into the final detailed design phase, with a target construction start date of early to mid-2021.
Meanwhile, the construction of the Gasometer carpark resumed during Covid-19 alert level 3, ensuring the carpark opening remains on track for the second half of the year. The new carpark will eventually replace the carpark at 40 Anzac St, with features including electric car charging stations, bike storage & changing rooms.
About Unlock Takapuna
Panuku – the council-controlled organisation established to deliver urban regeneration – is leading Takapuna’s regeneration through a few key sites.
The vision is to make the most of Takapuna’s sea & lakeside location and create a safe, accessible & vibrant town centre oriented around pedestrians & cyclists.
This vision is guiding planning to revitalise the town centre, improve public spaces, create better connections to the beach and support more urban living & public transport options.
Panuku’s wider brief
Panuku is working in multiple locations & on several scales – from large long-term urban regeneration projects to small projects on specific sites – to meet the needs of the city’s long-term growth, including the requirement for more affordable homes.
Attribution: Panuku, local board agenda.