One view of the proposed cycling walkway linking Haven Rd with the waterfront released at a public unveiling on Friday night at the Theatre Royal. Design: Irving, Smith, Jack Architects.

Waterfront plans unveiled

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The first plans for a potential waterfront development on council-owned land were unveiled on Friday night and mayor Aldo Miccio says it will fill in the missing link between the city and Tahunanui beach.

Around 150 people gathered in the Theatre Royal to see the plans and hear a presentation from its architects about the development on land around the Reliance Engineering building and the Custom House Hotel.

Aldo – who hosted the event with councillor Pete Rainey – says the plans show room for retail space and hospitality venues with a walking cycleway running through it. He says it could connect with the proposed walking cycle promenade on Rocks Rd and the walking cycleway from Rutherford Park, which will be built up to the Reliance building.

“It’s the missing link between the beach and the city and if it goes ahead it will provide a cycle walkway from the city to the beach which is what the city needs.”

The plans and design will to go out for tender, with the council hoping a developer will come in and take over the project, meaning the cost to ratepayers would be zero.“Developers will put in a proposal about what they would like to do with the land and the price they’d be willing to pay so the cost to ratepayers is nothing. We bought the Reliance Engineering building as a strategic purchase so this is an exit strategy so the council can get its money back.”

Plans also include 52 extra car parks in the area.

The finer details and how flexible it would like to be with developers will need to be finalised by the next council.

Councillor Pete Rainey says they have consulted with Port Nelson who have said they will be looking at slight boundary adjustments which would enable greater access to the sites and the water, as well as the potential for sympathetic development of the historic shed 1 in the future.