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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Million-dollar makeover for Myers Park​

One of Auckland's oldest inner-city parks, Myers Park, is set to undergo a million-dollar makeover as the central city adapts to deal with increasing numbers of young families. The space will be transformed into a mega children's play area for about 2000 children, with more rubbish bins, picnic tables, safe and clean toilets, and lighting and surveillance to improve security. The historic caretaker's cottage will also be restored. Funding for the upgrade of the park will come from the Long Term Plan budget and is expected to cost between $1million to $2m. If given the green light, the funding will be signed off by the council on June 28 and the upgrade could begin by the end of the year.

Barbara Holloway, from the Karangahape Rd Business Association, said there had been a push for an upgrade of the park for at least five years. "We're obviously very thrilled and excited. We're also very impressed with the level of support the Waitemata Local Board has given the project. "It's gradually come to the fore. The Waitemata Local Board has come on board and they have made Myers Park one of their key priorities because they have a major commitment to heritage and open spaces in the CBD.''

The vision for Myers Park is for it to become a "destination" and to achieve that, the upgrade will prioritise safety, access and maintenance. The plan will also improve the thoroughfare from St Kevin's Arcade on Karangahape Rd to the Aotea underpass. Signs and accessibility for those with limited mobility will also be addressed. Equipping the park's playground with swings, slides and play space for around 2000 children will honour the park's original vision as a children's playground when it was built in 1915. Holloway said the playground was a welcome addition and would ensure the park is well-used by the large number young families moving into the city.

Currently, the park is unkempt and has a significant overhang of foliage, which "creates very poor perceptions of safety and provides spaces for anti-social behaviour to take place", according to the council's development plans. "It's got very overgrown so what that means is that people can sit in the day and drink by hiding under the trees. So they need to majorly prune the park so that it feels clear and open, which is how it used to be,'' Holloway said.
In the council's plan for the park it states that enforcing a liquor ban, bringing more "eyes" to the park and maintaining clear access will help inner-city workers and residents enjoy the open space.

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/...tematalocalboard/myersparkdevelopmentplan.pdf

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/...ematalocalboard/myersparkexecutivesummary.pdf
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Pumping arty life into car park

Charlie McDermott hopes an upgrade and extension of Myers Park will turn a carpark into a buzzing arts precinct. He envisages an outdoor communal entertainment space to complement the area's fringe arts scene with burlesque shows, outdoor cinema screenings, circus events and concerts. Mr McDermott, 29, is the general manager of Basement Theatre, one of a handful of arts venues - including Q Theatre and the Classic Comedy Club - that sit at the foot of the carpark on the corner of Mayoral Drive and Lower Greys Ave. "The council carpark is never full," Mr McDermott says. "It's a wasted space and a big opportunity ... joining the area to Aotea Square makes sense." He says people "walk out of Myers Park and wonder: 'Should I be here? Where do I go now?"' He has been consulted by Auckland Council about plans to upgrade Myers Park and extend it into Aotea Square with paving and grass. "Basement is hoping to start a visual arts gallery space and, if there was more foot traffic, we'd look at ideas like investing in other buildings orsetting up a cafe.

"The area is full of sun in the afternoon - it could become a creative hub." Mr McDermott would like to see a bus stop on Mayoral Drive to improve public access and is pushing for a community building in the corner of the park with studios and rehearsal rooms for amateurs and professionals. "The parking lot has potential to be part of a wider arts hub, including the council-owned businesses that make up The Edge. "It's a perfect chance for the area's stakeholders to come up with a creative coalition and brainstorm a new brand ... Let's extend it, ring-fence it and call it something." He says the chosen name would need to encompass the vision of an "alive" arts precinct. "People need to associate it with a (theatre) place they can get excited about." Q Theatre deputy chairman Justin Lewis says Aotea Square should remain Aotea Square and the new area - which he suggests could become a less formal alternative public space - deserves its own name.

"We welcome the idea of this area becoming public space."The heritage buildings create an appealing backdrop which would make this an intimate and human space suitable for formal and informal gatherings, performances and events." Mr Lewis says connecting Myers Park to Aotea Square would create a link between Auckland's civic space and the "late night, edgy, creative" K Rd. "This would support the development of the area as Auckland's entertainment precinct. It would also open up the delightful Myers Park to more people." Mr Lewis says the area is a natural amphitheatre and old garages underneath buildings could easily become cafes. He supports Mr McDermott's idea for a community arts building, saying the former Auckland City Council scoped the area as an arts precinct. "Any development should retain the ability to do this.

Auckland could have a world class performing arts precinct with intelligent development over the coming decades." The Edge is the name of the business responsible for running Aotea Centre, Auckland Town Hall, The Civic and Aotea Square. Edge director Robbie Macrae says the name doesn't refer to the venues, which have their own identities - or the wider precinct. "The Aotea precinct isn't an official name. It would be interesting to see what ideas people might have to describe the area. We're in regular contact with neighbouring organisations - we're always happy to talk about making our area even more vibrant." The carpark is owned by Auckland Transport and would need to be transferred to Auckland Council's parks department for work to progress. A report to the Waitemata Local Board on May 8 says a "formal engagement protocol" is yet to be established between the Auckland Council and Auckland Transport so no timeline is in place.

It says the transfer of land is "strategically important in terms of the long-term development of Aotea precinct", which is described in the draft City Centre Masterplan as an "important cluster of civic, performance art and entertainment venues - as well as a future public transport interchange". Last July, The Aucklander met resident and historian Edward Bennett, who said as well as making the area safer for people walking through, the area has so much potential. "The whole connection between Aotea Square and Myers Park doesn't make sense. When people walk past the Q Theatre they go straight up Greys Ave, without realising that you can get to the park through the carpark," he said. "For 30 years it has just been used as a carpark. It is an ideal size for a public square that could reflect the heritage of the area."

$3m Upgrade:
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Waitemata Local Board chairman Shale Chambers says people appreciate the Edwardian nature of Myers Park but feel unsafe - particularly around overgrown trees and plants, and underneath the Mayoral Drive overbridge.
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The board initially earmarked $500,000 to upgrade the children's playground, improve pathways and remove vegetation.
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The council approved more money after the Local Board initiated a resolution on upgrading the Mayoral Drive underpass. That was supported by the CBD Advisory Board. It allotted $1.5 million for the project and an extra $1 million has been set aside in the City Centre master plan.
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Mr Chambers says an artist's impression involving wooden panels has been prepared for the underpass and will be shown at a public open day at Myers Park Kindergarten on Saturday, June 16 between noon and 4pm. This, he says, would be "a chance to get creative juices flowing".
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The options still open for public discussion include moving Myers Park Kindergarten car park away from the park to Queen St, a water feature and improving the park's other entrances.
 

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And hopefully the parking area behind that bridge gets a makeover. I mean, it's on the doorstep of one of the city's biggest carparks, why is it there in the first place?
 

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Kiwi in London
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Never really been a fan of Myers Park. Too many hobos :D

Renders look good though. Look forward to seeing the changes when I;m next back home.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I for one have never seen hobo's there but then again 3 or 4 lying around is nothing compared to what I used to see back in South Africa :) ... or in Sydney for that matter. I also love the underpass and as far as I know they are going to include the carpark but it falls under a separate project.
 

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There is the possibility to have some nice restaurants and bars in that area behind all the buildings on Queen Street, but the council having parking there at the entrance to the Aotea carpark makes no sense at all. It's a hangover from the days of "if it's flat, tar seal it and make it a carpark" mentality that reined supreme in Auckland until only a few years ago.
 

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^^ Agreed. The Council should get onto that asap. I heard that the carpark had to be transferred from Auckland Transport over to Auckland Council control before it could proceed with the redevelopment, so hopefully that happens sooner rather than later!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The first render shows a new staircase linking to Mayoral Drive with a new cafe ... this could be a great start. I would love to see the parking behind Q Theatre turned into a Designer's Market - day and night.
 

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From Hamilton, NZ
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the render with the kiddie pool looks amazing but the other two.. not so interesting.. but then i'm not familiar with the park in its current state so it could be a vast improvement on the status quo
 

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the render with the kiddie pool looks amazing but the other two.. not so interesting.. but then i'm not familiar with the park in its current state so it could be a vast improvement on the status quo
The entrance from Aotea Square under Mayoral Drive is a dump. It's partially used for storage as well which doesn't help. I don't mind the rest of the park but it needs better lighting to make it safer.
 

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I should not that that is the Northern most entrance and is the natural link to Aotea Square so is pretty bad BUT there are multiple other entrances which are all much nicer such as off Queen Street


and off Grey's Ave



SO it is still possible to get into the park via a nicer route, but clearly you would like to improve the connection to Aotea Square!!!!
 
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