A number of possible changes to the linkages between the Britomart precinct, the CPO Building and the Britomart Transport Centre are being proposed by Cooper and Company, which has been working on the redevelopment of the Britomart Precinct in collaboration with Council for the past ten years.
Among the suggested changes are:-
– Strengthening foundation work so as to enable possible construction of a new commercial building to the east of the CPO building utilising the air space above the Transport Centre.
– Creating a large new concourse hall for the Transport Centre, possibly linking with the CPO building.
– Opening up the western face of the CPO building.
– Creating more public spaces.
– Increasing the capacity and operating efficiency of the Transport Centre and reinforcing its position as Auckland’s “Grand Central Station”.
Cooper and Company says the opportunity for a design re-think arose out of master planning and design work for their development sites in the western part of the Britomart precinct and the extensive reinforcing work required for the City Rail Link (CRL) tunnelling under the CPO building.
The company says strengthening the planned foundations would make it possible for a new building to utilise the air space above the Transport Centre. This would create additional value for the city, as well as being a dramatic and elegant use of the opportunity created by Auckland Transport’s major works in the area.
The proposed new building, which Cooper and Company is interested in constructing, would ‘float’ above the Transport Centre behind the CPO Building with the underside of the new building three to four levels up in the air.
The new concepts were shown to a workshop of Auckland Councillors last week and will be discussed with Auckland Transport. Detailed examination of the new concepts by the various parties, including physical and financial feasibility and assessment of the outcomes is required. Decisions are needed before reinforcing and tunnelling under the CPO building – the first stage of the CRL– scheduled to commence next year.
Auckland Council and Cooper and Company are more than two-thirds through a successful multi year agreement to transform the run-down Britomart precinct, overseen by a joint advisory board, which is being hailed as a model for inner-city regeneration.
An economic impact study conducted last year concluded that the completed redevelopment of the Britomart precinct to date has created more than 9,000 new jobs and an overall positive economic impact on the city of more than $1.3 billion every year.