A proposal for Auckland Council to optimise the value capture potential of its substantial Aotea Quarter landholdings is made in a report to Wednesday’s city centre advisory board meeting, but without detail.
The proposal is mentioned in a report on the Aotea Quarter framework which the council’s city centre integration team is co-ordinating. The framework, like one done for the downtown area, is intended to be a non-statutory document with a 20-year strategic vision & direction.
The report’s author, principal specialist urban designer Nic Williams, notes the unprecedented change the quarter will experience in the next decade as the city rail link’s Aotea Station is opened (scheduled for 2023), Wellesley St becomes a bus-priority corridor and light rail is possibly introduced to Queen St.
Further impacts west of the quarter, not explored in this report, are likely once SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd’s international convention centre is built between Hobson & Nelson Sts, introducing a hotel, more hospitality venues & retail to a side of the cbd that has become dominated by arterial roads.
The scope arising from those changes is for more cross-town traffic – especially foot traffic – between Aotea, the Victoria Quarter and the new businesses & apartments of the Wynyard Quarter.
Mr Williams wrote: “The opportunity is to ensure that this significant transport investment is harnessed as a catalyst for realising the quarter as a growth node. A land-use/development strategy is required that anticipates this shift and optimises the value capture potential of the council’s substantial landholdings, whilst supporting the other identified outcomes for the quarter.”
The Aotea framework document poses a series of questions to elicit further input from across the council group & key stakeholders for a consultation draft framework scheduled for July. Staff are aiming to present a final framework plan to the council’s development committee late this year.