Plans to develop a combined library and community hub in Takapuna at minimal cost to ratepayers have made a big step forward with the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board’s decision to sell one of its underperforming properties to help fund the project.
“The board is committed to providing the Takapuna community with an uplifting and welcoming community space it really deserves without it costing our ratepayers an arm and a leg. So, we’ve been working hard to make the most of the assets we’ve got and to deliver something that will benefit everyone in our community,” explains Devonport-Takapuna Local Board Chair Toni van Tonder.
At a meeting with Auckland Council and Eke Panuku in late June, the board approved the sale of the no-longer fit-for-purpose Mary Thomas Centre at 3 Gibbons Road, subject to statutory processes. Proceeds from this sale, combined with those from the former Library Building at 2 The Strand which Eke Panuku hopes to take to market later this year, will be used to help fund the proposed hub.
While the Mary Thomas Centre is still in operation, the building has had ongoing issues with a leaking roof, and most of its tenants have already been relocated to the Takapuna Community Services Building. There is no confirmed deadline for the sale of the property currently.
For the proposed community hub, the board has two preferred options. The first is a purpose-built facility in Waiwharariki Anzac Square, which has already been investigated. The second possibility is to renovate the current Takapuna Library building, potentially adding a third storey for increased capacity and coastal views. The board has allocated funding for a six-month feasibility study led by Eke Panuku into this option.
As part of the upcoming local board plan consultation process in July /August this year, the board will also be asking the local community if it supports the option of a targeted rate to help fund the planned hub.
“This is a really rare opportunity to do something that could enhance Takapuna central for years to come and we want to get it right. A targeted rate could really help create an amazing hub, but we want to hear what the community wants first. So let us know if you support the idea when you have your say on our local board plan this year,” van Tonder says.
To have your say on this proposal, along with other important priorities for the Devonport-Takapuna area, go to akhaveyoursay.co.nz/localboardplans when consultation opens 13 July to 14 August.
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