America's Cup & three huge years of transformation for the waterfront and downtown
America's Cup bases and more public access to the waterfront, a transformed Quay Street, more public space next to the Ferry Terminal and a new square for Lower Queen Street are all coming to the waterfront in the next few years before the Cup and APEC hit town.
With a whole lot of vibrancy and economic benefits expected to come to the city from these events, along with a legacy of great public spaces and improved infrastructure for Aucklanders, there's a lot to look forward to here.
As the NZ Herald said on the weekend, the difference Aucklanders will see along the waterfront over the next few years is as significant as the change from the catamarans of the last two Cups to the new 75-foot foiling monohulls.
Our city centre is growing fast - pedestrian numbers on Queen Street have doubled in just four years, retail spending is at $1.8 billion per year, and employment, student and resident numbers are at record levels. And it's set to keep growing.
To keep up with the expected growth, our city centre needs to be more walkable, with better public spaces and improved access to benefit workers, businesses, residents and visitors. That's what these transformative projects, partially funded by city centre businesses and residents through the City Centre Targeted Rate, set out to achieve.
There's important and large scale transformation happening in the commercial sector too - from the landmark Commercial Bay development, which our chief executive Viv Beck describes as a 'key nexus' joining the Waterfront, Britomart and Queen St - to the boom in high quality accommodation and our new international convention centre.
With all of this change we're heading for a more 24/7 city that will include longer shopping hours and night-time events, and a more vibrant city we can all enjoy.
What this means for business and our approach
More specific information for each of the related projects will be available soon and there will be opportunities to get closer to the details and give feedback.
It’s important to make sure that business can continue as close as possible to normal over the development period. We’re already working with council's Downtown Programme team on a dedicated Development Response Programme for the works. This wide reaching programme includes engagement, wayfinding and working with businesses to minimise the impact of construction and disruption to businesses and the surrounding community.
We'll also continue to be active in the planning and consenting process with business interests and outcomes in mind - you can see our recent submission on the America's Cup resource consent application here.
If you have any questions or want to talk to us about the Waterfront and Downtown transformation programme, please contact us by email or phone 09 379 8000.