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New pocket park for city centre

laneway SmallThe best features of an art deco-style building in Heretaunga St are about to be revealed, as work starts on constructing a new central city ‘pocket park’.

The shop at 325 Heretaunga St is about to be demolished but the façade will be kept and enhanced, with the park developed behind it. The project fits into the Hastings City Vibrancy Plan, which aims to encourage more people to enjoy the city centre, leading to more business and vitality.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the new city park would build important connections, help beautify the 300 Block, and provide a space to sit and enjoy lunch. “We are making our city attractive and vibrant. We are very proud of projects like this one, which improve access and connectivity, and which are a key part of making our city great.”

Beautiful deco-style windows, currently hidden by a verandah, will be revealed and necessary structural elements designed to complement them. A new glass canopy will be attached above the windows which will protect footpath pedestrians from the weather, while accenting the windows and columns.

The elegant city centre park, with gardens and seating areas, will double as a laneway between the main shopping street and a public car park off Queen St West. The proposal has been in the planning since July last year, when the section was purchased. It is 10m wide and 30m long.

An architectural assessment of the building says that while the building façade itself is “modest”, it definitely contributes to the art deco character of the area. It said: “The proposal is consistent with the goals of the Hastings City Vibrancy Plan and the Hastings City Centre Strategy by providing . . . pedestrian connections . . . [and] a small public place integrated into the city’s pedestrian network.”

The work will start on Monday, with contractors installing health and safety measures. The project is expected to take about 16 weeks.

5 July 2018

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