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CBD upgrade designs out

An artist’s impression of Park St upgrades, part of the Town Centre Revamp project. IMAGES/SUPPLIED

EMILY IRELAND
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Children splashing about in a water feature, a woman walking her bike, and another practising yoga on a grass platform.

Masterton residents won’t recognise Park St and the southern end of Queen St in a few years’ time, should designs for a CBD revamp go ahead.

The design for Queen St [and below].
The Masterton District Council has made public designs to change the lower part of Queen St and Park St.

MDC will make a decision on the next step of the CBD revamp at its meeting on June 24.

This will include how to proceed to tender for a contractor to carry out construction of the project.

Construction likely won’t start until early 2021 as it will take at least four months to secure a contractor and plan the work.

Work will not be done over the Christmas period.

A council spokesperson said one of the key reasons for revamping the town centre was to do what is best for Masterton businesses – “especially as the impact of the covid-19 lockdown is realised”.

“We want to attract people into Masterton so they spend more time in our town centre, and, as a result, support our local businesses.”

Wairarapa historian Gareth Winter, who works at the Wairarapa Archive near Park St said the design elements “look great”.

“I love the idea of a children’s water feature – I think there’s been a bit of talk about that in recent times on Masterton Matters.

“There are already lots of people who use Library Square for socialising and especially for lunching in summer, so the extra seating, and a table, will be well used.

“The plantings look as though they will soften the harder landscape elements, but also provide a link down Park Street to Queen Elizabeth Park.

“All looks good to me – although I do wonder where the guy towing his luggage is headed.”

Queen St businessowner Laxman Khadka of Annapurna said beautifying central Masterton areas was a “good idea”.

He said the most important part of any upgrade was ensuring that car parks were not lost.

Mark Rogers, of Bear Flag Books and Retro, said he thought a lot of business owners on Queen St were “a bit disillusioned with the lack of initiatives from council to help support local commerce post-covid-19”.

“And now we are presented with yet another set of drawings and plans that will just be added to an ever-growing pile of past follies.

“Pretty pictures do not make for a thriving business hub, action does and at the moment we are not seeing much of it.”

The designs are very detailed drawings that include the types of materials used, street furniture, and tree varieties.

MDC has asked business owners to complete a short survey before June 19 to inform its decision on the next steps.

Questions include: “What do you think about change within the Town Centre?”; when construction should take place, and what impact covid-19 has had on business.

Responses will be incorporated into the overall engagement undertaken to date on the Town Centre Revamp project.

1 COMMENT

  1. Perhaps we could all see some of these very detailed drawings mentioned, the artist’s impression at the top of the article looks rather like a coastal scene. Also, if only business owners are being surveyed regarding the changes, will they be paying for them, or will their responses be disregarded as per previous council “surveys”? I still wonder about council priorities.

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