Auckland Council and Auckland Transport have unveiled their $133 million midtown programme of works, describing the area as: ‘a part of Auckland where our history, art and culture can be seen and heard and will spill out into public life; where people choose to spend time and socialise; a place that is attractive and feels inclusive and safe.’
Midtown is the area that radiates from Aotea Square, taking in landmarks like the historic Auckland Town Hall, Civic Theatre, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and SkyTower, two universities, the intimate laneway network including Federal, Elliott, High and Lorne Streets, and treasured city parks – Myers Park and Rangipuke Albert Park.
“It is at the heart of a significant shift in the way people travel into, out of, and through the city and its regeneration is expected to be a catalyst for growth, productivity, a healthier and more sustainable city centre and a vibrant arts and cultural heart of Auckland,” Council said in a statement today.
The projects listed today by Auckland Council and Auckland Transport include:
- CRL Aotea Station – the stations’ threshold designs, woven with narratives from mana whenua, won a World Architecture Festival WAFX cultural identity award in 2019;
- Stage 1 of the Wellesley Street bus improvements project (Albert Street to Queen Street) – an upgraded environment for bus users and pedestrians;
- Stage 1 of Te Hā Noa – Victoria Street Linear Park (Albert Street to Kitchener Street);
- Federal Street upgrade, extension of the shared path laneway circuit;
- Wai Horotiu Queen Street Project;
- Myers Park underpass upgrade;
- Aotea over station development by MRCB, enabled by Eke Panuku;
- High Street upgrade;
- Hobson Street upgrade (Victoria Street to Wellesley Street);
- Aotea Centre refurbishment;
- Completion of the Albert Street upgrade between Wyndham St and Wellesley St.
Auckland Council director of infrastructure and environmental services, Barry Potter, says: “Our focus in recent years has been delivering a magnificent new downtown area and a more vibrant, people-friendly and accessible Karangahape Road, and the focus is now shifting to midtown.
“Midtown is the gateway to two of our universities and to our arts and entertainment quarters. It’s also a vibrant commercial and civic precinct. With the Aotea Station set to bring significantly greater numbers, travel to the area will be frequent, safe and convenient. We’re making sure midtown will be ready,” he says.
The regeneration of midtown will include upgrades to many streets including Federal Street, Wellesley Street, Victoria Street, Queen Street, High Street, the entrance to Myers Park (Mayoral Drive side) and parts of Hobson and Albert Streets.
It will also include investment from central government and private developers, with the 21-storey Aotea over station development, Auckland City Mission Homeground, the CAB development next to Aotea Square, and the Kāinga Ora development on Greys Avenue among many midtown developments in the pipeline.
Councillor Pippa Coom says: “We know private investment follows public investment on this scale in growing, prosperous cities with good transport connectivity and people-prioritised design, and we’ll see that in midtown.”