South D hub proposal unveiled

Jon Rennie, of Athfield Architects, speaks to members of the community at a presentation about...
Jon Rennie, of Athfield Architects, speaks to members of the community at a presentation about the South Dunedin community hub at the Dunedin Gasworks Museum on Saturday. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
The Dunedin City Council is calling for feedback from residents on its preferred option for a library and community hub in South Dunedin before a report is presented to councillors next month.

Council services and development general manager Simon Pickford and architect Jon Rennie, of Athfield Architects, presented the council’s preferred option to about 50 people at the Dunedin Gasworks Museum on Saturday morning.

Under the $5.25 million proposal, a library would be built in the former BNZ building in King Edward St and the facility linked to the Gasworks Museum through Lorne St. Some facilities, such as a cafe, would be based at the museum.

Mr Pickford said residents had until August 29 to provide feedback to the council on the proposal.

A report would go to councillors on September 19.

"The question we want to ask you today is ‘Have we got it right?'" he told those present.

"We haven’t made any decisions yet.

"We have looked in detail at seven options. None are dead in the water. Some might have issues like access or the cost might be a little too high, but nothing has been decided."

The other options were the entire facility being at the Gasworks Museum, the Rankeilor St car park, 180-190 King Edward St, 138 King Edward St, the South City Mall or the Caledonian building.

Mr Rennie said the proposal was preferred because it was architecturally appropriate, appropriate for a civic centre, central to South Dunedin and provided links to other areas, such as the Gasworks Museum.

It would also have resilience to flooding, as it was raised off the ground, he said.

The library would also result in the natural revival of other shop fronts in the area over time.

"It’s foot traffic and it’s a commitment the council has made,’’ Mr Rennie said.

"A commitment to that area and that shows confidence in the area."

Mr Pickford echoed those thoughts.

"The council aren’t going to put millions into transforming all those shop fronts, but what it is going to do is put this central hub in and that will drive other owners to improve their shop fronts," he said.

"It does transform the area over time. It’s not instantaneous. There’s only so much we can do as a council."

The council has allowed for $5.25 million for the hub in its 2017-18 and 2018-19 budgets.

● Feedback on the proposal can be provided online on the council’s website at www.dunedin.govt.nz

timothy.brown@odt.co.nz

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