Outdoor dining and entertainment in the city centre is looking to get even better with the City Transformation Committee approving $190,000 to create a detailed design to upgrade Wharf Street.
Wharf Street, between the Strand and Willow Street, is a well-known hot spot for café’s, restaurants and bars, and has been running a trial to introduce more shared space and outdoor seating areas.
The trial to create more shared space was initiated by Downtown Tauranga and a number of local businesses, and has proven the value in creating a more welcoming open shared space for people, outdoor dining and activities.
“The upgrade to Wharf Street will provide an added attraction to the city centre for visitors and locals alike” said Chair of City Transformation Committee, Cr. Larry Baldock.
“Since the trial, Wharf Street has seen more hospitality businesses move to this area and it’s great to see more and more people out enjoying this space,” he said.
The concept designs have evolved from community engagement and ongoing feedback with Wharf Street property and business owners. A community open day for Wharf Street held last year, showed key themes of community feedback:
- having a focus on outdoor dining,
- a place that facilitates events,
- a place that is pedestrian only with restricted vehicle access, and
- for it to be done well.
The project aligns with the Tauranga City Centre Spatial Framework that has a vision for shared people spaces, with a pedestrian focus and greater allocation to outdoor seating opportunities.
The new street design and street programme options entice events and festivals to be held within this space, creating added social and economic benefits to local businesses
and the community, as well as contributing to a vibrant, successful city centre.
“I would like to acknowledge the local businesses who have worked extremely well together, it is thanks to their enthusiasm that we have been able to get this project off the ground,” Cr. Baldock said.
“I am excited to see this development happen with the benefits it will bring to local businesses, and for everyone coming into the city centre to enjoy memorable dinning experiences” he said.