Eke Panuku Development Auckland has appointed Auckland infrastructure and civil construction company JFC to lead the development of Takapuna’s new town square with work scheduled to begin in January 2022.
A key milestone for the urban regeneration agency’s work in this beachside neighbourhood, the construction will take approximately 18 months and will happen in three stages to minimise disruption in the town centre and to the local community.
“JFC’s ability to build vibrant city spaces is evident in Takapuna, having recently completed the transformation of Hurstmere Road on behalf of Auckland Council. We know the team at JFC are looking forward to continuing to work with local businesses and community leaders as they turn their focus to the construction of the new town square,” said Eke Panuku Priority Location Director, Kate Cumberpatch.
Safety fences and hoardings will be installed from 10 January 2022, and a partial closure of the Anzac Street car park will see parking reduced to 125 spaces.
Chris Darby, North Shore Ward Councillor and Planning Committee Chair, says he can’t wait to see construction underway.
“This is a turning point for the community. After many years of consultation and design, finally Takapuna is getting the welcoming public space it deserves."
The square is another piece of the puzzle that delivers a network of lively spaces, seamlessly linking Auckland’s best urban beach to Shore City. The square will anchor life at the very heart of Takapuna, with the excitement of markets, performance, parades and a place brimming with people.
Hot on the heels of revealing Takapuna’s wonderful refreshed Hurstmere Road, the soon-to-begin construction of the new town square steps up council’s investment in Takapuna and guarantees a thriving people-focussed centre for years to come.”
Shaped by considerable local feedback and expert masterplanning, the Takapuna town square design offers a place where people can come together to meet and relax, children can play, and celebrations can be held. Through involvement of a mana whenua-appointed artist, an important cultural narrative has been woven through the design and references the underground springs flowing from Lake Pupuke to Takapuna Beach.
Ensuring the square’s capacity to accommodate a range of events and activities, including concerts and a regular market, was a key consideration in the final design which was endorsed by the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board in May 2020. Features such as filters to treat stormwater runoff at the source, sustainable timber and low-carbon concrete will ensure the development puts people and the environment first as one of New Zealand’s first Green Star communities.
Terence Harpur, CEO of the Takapuna Beach Business Association says once completed, the new town square will become a real drawcard for people spending time in the town centre.
“It’s terrific this project has remained a priority for Eke Panuku and Auckland Council after a particularly tough year for everyone. The project will add to our new Hurstmere Road transformation and town centre invigoration, bringing enormous benefits for our local businesses who are working hard to recover from the effects of COVID-19. We are looking forward to the works getting underway and I’ve sought assurance from Eke Panuku that it will happen with minimal disruption to our business centre, including the continued provision of plenty of parking, so that we can continue to forge ahead with our recovery,” he said.
Ensuring minimal disruption to the community has been a key consideration in construction planning.
“We are aware that there has been, and continues to be, considerable public and private works going on in Takapuna. Our approach to the town square construction will happen in three stages to minimise works, noise and disruption as much as possible to allow locals to continue enjoying life in Takapuna. Access to local businesses and facilities, such as the bus stop on Lake Road and the public toilets at 34 Hurstmere Road will remain,” added Kate Cumberpatch.
Eke Panuku has worked carefully on a plan that will ensure the Takapuna Sunday Market has a space while the construction is underway. The market will be relocated to the Anzac Street end of the site in a temporary layout and is expected to return as the government’s COVID-19 Protection Framework restrictions allow.
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board agreed to support a mana whenua request to bestow a name on the public space. Mana whenua have gifted the name Waiwharariki to the new public space. Waiwharariki is the mana whenua place name for the area now known as Takapuna, the beach, and town centre. Approval of the preferred name will be sought at the local board business meeting on 14 December 2021.