The future regeneration of Old Papatoetoe has taken an important step with Auckland Council’s Planning Committee approving an overall plan for its regeneration.
The overarching plan outlines the key moves needed to achieve the vision for a revitalised town centre that becomes a place for people and enterprise to thrive, with services and facilities that the community can be proud of.
A major upgrade of Old Papatoetoe Mall is already in progress and is expected to be completed early next year. The refreshed mall will include space for retail and a medical hub into which the existing City Centre Pharmacy will be rehomed. The puriri, phohutakawa and titoki trees that were central features of the original mall plaza will be kept and celebrated in the redesign.
The mall upgrade supports the overall plan to redevelop parts of the town centre, which focuses on unlocking the potential of large areas of underused council land. Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Lotu Fuli says the committee's decision is excellent news.
“The revitalisation of the heart of Old Papatoetoe represents a huge step in the right direction of shaping the area into a vibrant and busy hub, which is a key priority for the Local Board over the next three years,” Fuli says. “The future plan shows a focus on creating a more attractive and central core for Old Papatoetoe, while acknowledging and embracing its strong heritage and diverse community.”
Alongside the upgrade of the mall, a refurbishment of the New World supermarket is planned with timeframes to be confirmed later in the year. The car park surrounding the supermarket will be reconfigured in stages beginning later this year.
The focus will then shift to delivering approximately 60 to 80 much-needed new homes on Tavern Lane. A further 20 to 35 new homes are planned at 91 Cambridge Terrace (The Depot), which is currently being leased by six community groups. Panuku is working with each of the groups to facilitate their successful relocation before any next steps in the site’s development are made.
Manukau ward Councillor Alf Filipaina says the revitalisation of Old Papatoetoe has been a long time coming so he’s pleased to see it get the green light. “It’s been a bit of a journey, so it’s great to see things getting underway,” Cllr Filipaina says. “The revitalisation of Old Papatoetoe is not only important locally, but also to the rest of the south Auckland region. This is a really exciting time for the region with the Old Papatoetoe project and what’s happening with Transform Manukau.”
Cllr Filipaina says striking a balance between retaining the special character of Old Papatoetoe with the changing needs of business, shoppers and residents will be important to the success of the project.
Panuku Development Director Allan Young says Panuku has identified Old Papatoetoe as a growth area with many more people expected to move there over the next decade. “The revitalisation of council land is an opportunity to cater for that growth by improving the town centre economy and making the area more attractive,” Young says. “The planning committee's approval gives Panuku the mandate to lead a suite of work to deliver positive outcomes for the local community.”
The approval of the overall plan allows Panuku to progress into more concrete planning and place making which will provide more detail and guide the delivery of the project.