What is Council's preferred option for Esk St West/ Wachner Place?

    Council's preferred option is option 1.  CAT please insert text from consultation document.  

    Were the Councillors all agreed on Option 1?

    No - there were varied views as to what the best option for the city would be. Councillors could see the different benefits and opportunities for each option.  Your views will help them make the final decision. 

    What type of busses will be using the proposed bus route?

    Distinction Hotels have a strong relationship with the international tourism sector.  The developer anticipates an increase of tour groups staying in the region, many of whom will be basing themselves at the new hotel. City public buses will continue to use current routes.

    What design features would be included in the Esk St West/ Wachner Place area?

    The landscaping design has been developed to align with the landscape design of Esk and Don Sts. It will also include features and plantings to manage wind along Esk St. Trees and plantings will be included.

    What will happen to the clock?

    All options will result in the clock being removed. Given the estimated $500,000 required for clock refurbishment, the council does not intend to retain the clock but will see alternatives which could include a private or museum buyer. One face of the clock will be retained in its current location within the library. 

    What was the cost of the first stage of the City Streets Programme?

    The first stage of the programme cost $21.3M for Esk St and Don St.

    If investment is made in Esk St West what does this mean for the plan Council had for City Streets Stage 2 around the intersection of Kelvin and Esk?

    Council put Stage 2 on pause to enable it to reconsider plans in the light of the new hotel planned on Lower Esk St and the announced closure of H&J Smith. All options for Esk St West will require reallocation of the whole $13.6M budget allocated for Stage 2. Council has no plans to complete the original Stage 2 works at the intersection of Kelvin and Esk St at this time although this may be reconsidered in the future. Some infrastructure upgrades to pipes are required and will need to take place over the next few years.

    When would the work be completed?

    The work would be completed in stages to align with the work programme of the Distinction Hotel. It is intended that some elements will be complete in September 2024, with the remainder around Wachner Place completed over the following year.

    What does the proposed project mean for urban play?

    Wachner Place has been identified as a potential minor/ supporting location for urban play. The site has size and safety limitations which mean it cannot be the primary location for urban play. Option 1 will mean no urban play can take place at Wachner Place. Options 2 and 3 will mean that some elements of urban play remain possible. 

    Council continues to have up to $4.6M allocated for urban play. The final approach and design will be agreed following decisions about street layout in the city centre. Council is likely to consult on this as part of the Long-term plan in March next year.

    What are the Council's plans for a gathering space in the city?

    The City Centre Masterplan identifies Don St as a primary gathering space, as demonstrated at the recent successful Night Food Market. Don St can be temporarily closed for events like this. 

    Council is considering future options for a permanent gathering space in the central city but doesn't have any specific plans at this point. 

    What happens if Council does not invest in the project?

    If Council does not make investment in Esk St West then the developer will be required to return Lower Esk Street to its current standard. Visitors will be required to disembark on Leven St and there will be no line of sight to the city centre. At some point within the next few years Council will be required to review again the clock pillars as well as the structure it holds, both of which are coming to the end of their life.

    Are there further stages to the City Streets Upgrade?

    Council may consider making further investment in the later stages outlined in the Masterplan (including the original plan for Stage 2 at the Esk/ Kelvin intersection) at a future stage. No budget allocation is made for this work in the draft 2024 – 2034 Long-term plan.

    how can I have my say?

    Let us know what you think about the options for redevelopment of Esk St West / Wachner Place using the submission form at the bottom of this page!