Posts Tagged ‘Rangiora Town Centre’

The Temporary Shops are Leaving #Rangiora

18 February 2016

_MG_3477 Reduced

Each night this week the temporary shops have been disappearing from Rangiora. Since mid-2012 they have been helping to keep High Street alive by providing spaces for dislocated retailers. Now, with the new shops being built, they are no longer needed. Most are to be used as sports ground facilities.

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Farmers Demolition to Start Soon – and Timetable for Rebuild Announced

4 June 2014

The following media statement was issued on behalf of Farmers today.

 

New Farmers store confirmed for Rangiora

 

Rangiora is getting its new Farmers department store.

 

Following a long drawn out insurance claim, settlement has been reached for the town’s earthquake damaged CBD building paving the way for a heads of agreement between Farmers and owners Mandeville Properties to develop a new store.

 

Demolition of the existing building is expected to begin shortly and the new Farmers is expected to open in early 2016.

 

Farmers chief financial officer Michael Power says demolition of the building will enable the council to remove the site fences.

 

“Business people in Rangiora will be delighted as this will bring some normality back to the CBD,” Mr Power says. “Mandeville Properties is a local business and it has worked extremely hard to retain a department store in the town.

 

“Now that the key aspects of the heads of agreement have been agreed we expect to begin construction in January next year. The plan is to have the new Farmers Rangiora store open for business about 12 months after that.”

 

Waimakariri District mayor David Ayers is delighted with the news.

 

“The rebuild and return of Farmers to its existing site is crucial to the revival of the central retail area and the council has been working with Mandeville Properties and Farmers to achieve that.

 

“Along with the strengthening of existing buildings and other new shops currently being designed, Rangiora is going to come back better than ever.  It is going to be exciting to watch the new Farmers and the specialty shops rise over the next 18 months or so.”

 

In February, Farmers and Mandeville Properties said they were in meaningful discussions with the insurers and a collaborative approach to managing the construction of a new store would be taken.

 

The current building suffered extensive damage in successive Canterbury earthquakes. The new store will cover approximately 5,900 square metres and will include up to five speciality shops.

 

Rangiora is the largest town in North Canterbury and has a population of around 16,000.

 

Issued for Farmers by Pead PR

Farmers Announces Plans for Return to Rangiora

5 February 2014

The following is from a media statement released by The Farmers today.

Rangiora’s Farmers department store, closed for nearly two years, will be rebuilt despite an unsettled insurance dispute.  

    The store’s lengthy closure has been blamed for the town centre’s slow recovery following the earthquakes.  

    However, in an announcement today Farmers chief financial officer Michael Power said the company and property owner Mandeville Properties were working together to build a new store on the same site.  

    The new store of approximately 5000 square metres would include up to five speciality shops.   

    The current building suffered extensive damage in the earthquakes and has been the subject of a protracted dispute between Mandeville Properties and ACE Insurance Ltd.   

    Power said Farmers would continue to facilitate discussions between the insurer and the owners on a settlement of the claim.  

    “We understand how difficult this has been for our customers and the wider business community. While the question of insurance has yet to be settled we want to get things moving again as quickly as possible for the benefit of everyone,” Power said.   

    He could not say when construction on the new store would begin.  

    “We’re hopeful of getting things started very soon but because the details are yet to be worked out I really can’t say when a new store will open.” 

The Waimakariri District: Looking Forward to 2014

6 January 2014

For those who missed it, the following appeared in this week’s Northern Outlook. 

2014 should see progress in a number of areas over which residents have expressed frustration in 2013.

The future of the District’s residential red zones has been an issue since their announcement in June 2011. They are now in a very sorry state with their empty sections and abandoned houses – not a great environment for those still living there and nearby. The government and CERA now indicate they are willing to think about these zones’ future and they have agreed that the community and the Council will be involved in determining that future. I expect to see real progress this year along with developments on the Kaiapoi riverbank.

The Kaiapoi and Rangiora town centres have a lot ahead of them. I expect to see owners making decisions for the Rangiora rebuild early in the year as they engage tenants. Work should be getting under way soon on one of the Kaiapoi gaps and during the year final property purchases should enable construction to start on the Red Lion corner realignment and at least the design work by new owners for the Hansens site in Kaiapoi.

At the time of writing, the three main controversial “in limbo” buildings had not had their futures announced by their owners. The John Rhind (former BNZ) building in Kaiapoi (empty since September 2010) and the Farmers and Robbie’s buildings (both empty since March 2012) will soon have those decisions and hopefully reconstruction under way. Work should start on the West Eyreton memorial arch in the second half of the year.

By the end of 2014, much of infrastructure work, mainly in Kaiapoi, but also in Pines-Kairaki , Rangiora, Waikuku and Cust, should be completed. The recent cost-sharing agreement with the government is certainly a help there.

The major projects already started or with contracts awarded will be either completed or nearing completion: the Kaiapoi Library, Museum and Service Centre, the Ashley Bridge and the Rangiora and Oxford Town Halls.

This community has been facing the biggest natural disaster in material terms in NZ history. We are now on the way out with the biggest works programme ever undertaken in North Canterbury.

 

 

Rangiora Town Hall Strengthening and Extension About to Start

24 May 2013

Town HallAlthough work was actually authorised and budgeted for a year ago, the Waimakariri Council has just considered submissions to this year’s Annual Plan and has further approved the work. It is hoped to call for tenders in July.  Expressions of interest from construction companies have already been received and there has been an impressive response.

Nearly half the cost of $11.5m will go towards strengthening the existing building, including anchoring the old part to the new extension.

The additions have received the approval of a heritage architect and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.  This was necessary because it is a Category 2 Historic Building.

The auditorium will receive some upgrading, such as a new orchestra pit and audience seating, but will essentially remain as it is. What the extension will give the community is a flexible 150-seat smaller theatre alongside, greatly improved backstage facilities for performers and crews (the current facilities are awful), much better foyer space both upstairs and downstairs, better toilets for audiences and four smallish rooms that can be used for music tuition, meetings, etc. The movie theatre will be moved downstairs. untitled

While the extensions will take up some of the car-park space, we need to remember that the Council car-park is only 2-3 minues walk away – and it is largely empty in the evenings when most large Town Hall events occur. There is now a footpath beside the driveway connecting the Council car-park with King Street.

Thousands of people used the Town Hall every year before it was closed, either as performers or audiences. This upgrade will meet their needs a lot better. The enhancemen of the town Hall will also help in the revitalisation of the Rangiora Town Centre.

rgatownhall_historic

 

 

Waimakariri Approves Budget for Upgrade of Rangiora’s Red Lion Corner and High Street

24 May 2013

The Waimakariri District Council has approved budget for the major upgrade of the Red Lion Corner and Central High Street.

This has been on the books for three years, before the earthquake, after major community consultation at that time.Red Lion Corner The closure of several premises because of the earthquakes has meant that the programme has been brought forward several years to help in the revitalisation of the town centre.

The problems with the current layout are legion.

  • It is terrible for pedestrians (as is the associated High-Albert Streets corner)
  • The turn from Ivory St east into High St is difficult
  • Driving cross Albert Street from west to east can be perilous
  • Access to the main shopping area from the east is essentially blocked
  • If you want to drive south from High Street you have to first drive north

Really, the only manoeuvres that really work are north-south movement and the left turn past the Red Lion.

The new layout will line up Ivory and Ashley Streets to make a conventional cross-roads controlled by traffic lights.

The Council already owns the the former Westpac building but will need to purchase more property.

Associated with this will be the returning of High Street to two-way traffic with parallel parking. This will oimporve the business environment for retailers at the east end in the area of the BNZ and ANZ banks, make it easier for pedestrians to move around the town and make it possible to come in from the east. At the same time, the Council will be working on improving parking availability in adjacent areas.

Discussions with the RSA about relocation of the Cenotaph will begin soon. The Cenotaph itself is not actually affected, but the new road will pass very close to it.

Assuming property purchase and other issues go reasonably smoothly, wotk could start towards the end of 2014.

Student’s Concept for High St Rangiora Attracts a Lot of Interest

4 March 2013

A concept design for the area where the Lambert Building once stood in Rangiora’s High Street has attracted a lot of attention. Sarah Otway-Howard produced it as a CPIT exercise and it is not too far away from the sort of possibilities the Council is considering.

130211 Concept by Sarah Otway-Howard (400x300)

Keeping a Record of Our Changing District

2 March 2013

The Rangiora Museum is doing a project on the shops on High Street. They would like to see any photos or information anyone may have of shops that are or were on High Street. The contacts are Pam Mackintosh (313 9343), Ann Jelfs (313 7592) or Leith Newell (313 8505).

IMG_0032 (200x133)

The area cleared by CERA in Courtenay Drive, Kaiapoi – before the earthquakes a residential area.

Keeping a photographic record for the future is well worth doing. The central parts of our towns are probably getting well photographed as they change, but I wonder about the residential areas in Kaiapoi, The Pines and Kairaki. The changes are occurring progressively – the scene on the left is as it is now, but was the process of getting to this state photographed?

To give some idea of the scale of the change, Kaiapoi has lost or will lose somewhere between 30 and 40 commercial or community spaces in the town centre since the September quake.

The Changing Face of Rangiora – Pulley Building Under Demolition

28 February 2013

The Pulley Building was being demolished today.  I’m quite sad about that, because I thought it one of the more attractive old buildings in the town – and I used to go to the dentist in there.

Robbies (the former Junction Hotel) is next door, of course, and it may be that fences will still have to stay in front of the Pulley site because of the danger from Robbies.

130228 Pulley Building Being Demolished

Demolition of Saddlery Building Under Way in Rangiora

4 January 2013

130104 Clark's Saddlery Being Demolished (640x480)The building that housed a saddlery for many years, as well Albany’s in more recent times (and John Blumsky’s bookshop for a while!), is currently being stripped out in preparation for final demolition.

I guess that’s progress, although in many ways real progress will occur when a new building starts to go up.

With the neighbouring former Northern Outlook building and two others a bit further east already down, the opportunities for an integrated approach to Rangiora’s rebuild are becoming even more apparent.

Let’s hope it can happen – but there is only so much that the Council can do.

The gap (but not The Gap) comes to Rangiora

30 August 2012

It was good to see the containers coming out of the High Street yesterday. There is a long way to go, but I suppose it is progress of sorts.

Some of the retailers further east had a tough day yesterday because traffic, not even pedestrians, couldn’t get through as I found trying to get to my fortnightly interview with Compass 104.9FM.

More Parking Spaces Appear in Rangiora High Street

28 March 2012

Because quite a few parking spaces have been lost with the various barriers, new spaces were created this morning to help make it easier for people to shop locally.

In another move, the Rangiora Community Board has approved a range of shorter time limits on parking spaces in the town cente to help circulate their use more rapidly.

It Makes Me Mad!

1 January 2011

 Vandalism makes me mad, especially when it involves trees.  As you can see from the attached photos, central Rangiora was hit recently.  Several years’ growth goes in an instant of mindless (and probably drunken) idiocy.

It happened on a Friday night and although it is outside our house, we heard nothing.

We all lose from this sort of thing.

Soap-Box Derby for the High Street

27 September 2010

Rangiora Town Centre Strategy Adopted

21 September 2010

The Council today adopted the Rangiora Town Centre Strategy.

Staff are to continue planning for its implementation.  Obviously, there will be room for more community input at budget time.

I will report later on what is in it.

Countdown Hearing Under Way

28 June 2010

The hearing for the proposed Countdown Supermarket in Ivory Street, Rangiora, before Commissioner Jeff Page, is currently under way in the Council Chambers.  It is scheduled to last until Wednesday.

Rangiora Town Centre Options out for Consultation

9 June 2010

The Rangiora Town Centre options paper is out for consultation.

Pick up a copy from the council or go to http://www.rtc2020.co.nz/home.aspx for either the full document or a summary.

This is your chance to have your say about Rangiora’s future.  The town and the wider district depend on having a healthy and vibrant retail heart in Rangiora.

Submissions close on 25 June.

Rangiora Town Centre Consultation Report Nearly Ready

14 May 2010

The former Northern A & P Building, Ivory Street

The report of the council, the three citizens and business groups and the consultants on the Rangiora Town Centre is close to being completed.  It will go before a Council committee on Tuesday 18 May (i.e. next week) and hopefully released to the public shortly after that.

This will not be a final report .  It will be a discussion of issues and options and will be open for public consultation.

Countdown Hearing Opposed

14 May 2010

The hearing for the proposed Countdown supermarket in Ivory Street, Rangiora, has been postponed until, I think, July.  This is at the request of Progressive Enterprises (i.e. Countdown / Woolworths) who want to study the Council’s planning officer’s report.

The planning officer in his report opposes the building of a supermarket on this site.  His main reasons centre around its inappropriateness in a Residential 1 zone and the negative impact it would have on the Town Centre.

In addition there is opposition from residential neighbours and the adjacent Kohanga Reo pre-school.  As well as the above, they cite traffic and noise issues.

The View that Tourists Get

3 May 2010

One of the features of railways all round the world is that their routes into cities and towns often give passengers the worst possible view of those towns and cities – reflecting the fact that railway lines have historically attracted industry.  The Keep Rangiora Beautiful group is working to change that.  A lot of their plantings have been along the railway so that the passengers on the TranzCoastal get a better impression of Rangiora.  Below you can see them hard at work alongside Rangiora Bakery’s new building.

Rangiora Town Centre: What’s Going On? Has it Dropped off the Radar?

11 April 2010

You might recall that the Council called a public meeting last year to discuss the Rangiora Town Centre.  What has happened since then?

At the meeting, participants were invited to put their names forward for one of two reference groups – one for property owners and business people in the Town Centre, and the other for “users” of the Town Centre (i.e. the general public).  They and a third group overseeing the process have met on a number of occasions feeding ideas and comments into the process.  The third oversight group is comprised of some councillors, staff and representatives from the Ward Advisory Boards and Our Town Rangiora.

Four groups of consultants have been engaged by the Council and they are developing ideas on such areas as business development, traffic, parking and the overall appearance of the town centre.  A lot of analysis of the current situation is, of course, being done and the overall message is that the Town Centre has a lot going for it and is actually very strong.  Much, however, could be done to make it even better.

The three groups and the consultants all got together a couple of weeks ago for a day-and-a-half workshop, followed by a public open day on the following Saturday.  Not many came, but it was advertised and it did happen!

The consultants have now gone away for further research and analysis and to prepare reports for the Council.

It needs to be emphasised that what comes out of this process will not be a series of decisions.  What we will get are a range of concepts which will be open for further public consultation.  There are rumours going around the town that the Council has “decided” this or that.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Have Your Say on the Rangiora Town Centre

22 March 2010

Rangiora Town Centre

12 February 2010

If you want to keep abreast of what is happening with the work on the Rangiora Town Centre, go to:

www.rtc2020.co.nz

There are three consultative working parties currently working on this. 

The Colour of the Rangiora Town Hall

15 January 2010

Confession: I like it!

Admittedly, the colour of the Town Hall polarises locals: people either love it or hate it.  There don’t seem to be many who are neutral!  This means that to go back to the previous cream colour or something like that would probably be equally polarising.

One thing is for sure: more than anything else, the Town Hall since it went to red and blue, has become Rangiora’s signature building.

In the words of one of the committee that originally chose the colour: “She’s a grand old lady and we’re going to dress her up!”

Some Observations About Alfred Street

10 January 2010

The Council has voted to restore Alfred Street, Rangiora, to its former self, i.e. two-way travel between Victoria Street and Percival Street will now be possible.  This should happen fairly soon, provided no-one appeals the decision to the Environment Court.

I voted to restore it, mainly to take the issue out of the more important consultation on the Rangiora Town Centre.

There are few observations, however, that I would like to make, in no particular order.

  • The street is not a service lane. It is a legal road.  It has in recent times functioned both as a service lane and an access from Ivory Street to Percival Street.
  • Making part of High Street one-way has served to make Alfred Street a route back to the west for those parking in High Street.  Most of Rangiora is to the west of the business centre.
  • The most affective ways of bypassing the town centre remain Blackett Street and Queen Street.  Blackett Street, especially since the three central roundabouts were put in, is the easiest way of travelling between east and west.
  • The two inner east-west streets, Alfred and Blake, are of local use only – neither reaches King Street, and Blake Street doesn’t reach Ashley Street.
  • In working on a Rangiora town centre plan, we, the community, may find that Alfred Street takes on another form.  We need to have open minds about the whole town centre and be ready to consider anything.

Urban Planning in Curitiba, Brazil

16 August 2009

180px-Rua-XV

In the pages listed to the right of your screen, you can see an entry Urban Planning in Curitiba, Brazil. This city has been at the forefront of cities trying to find new ways to deal with growth while at the same time maintaining a human scale.

It has been suggested to me that Rangiora is a small town  with small-town problems trying to find big-city solutions.

What do you think?

Alfred Street Remains Closed – Council Decision

7 August 2009

This week, the Waimakariri District Council decided to keep Alfred Street closed.  They decided:

Lets the closure of Alfred Street stand in the meantime and develop a long term plan for Rangiora and from that decide the future form and function of Alfred Street.

Requests staff to bring back to Council a wider strategy report on the Rangiora Town Centre before any enhancement takes place in Alfred Street.

There are a number of problems with this approach.

  1. Those councillors who voted for this ignored a petition of about 4000 people.
  2. They passed up the opportunity to follow the same legal process to reopen the street that was taken to pedestrianise that portion of Alfred Street.
  3. The “long-term plan” consultation process will be muddied by strong community feelings over Alfred Street – in other words, Alfred Street will be a diversion from more important matters (click on Rangiora’s Heart: What Needs to Happen?  in the page list on the right of your screen).
  4. They have implicitly told the people of this District that in developing a long-term plan for central Rangiora, they won’t necessarily listen to those people.
  5. They are going to do nothing until the plan is complete.  This will take at least a year and in my view is unlikely to be complete before the next local body elections in October 2010.  In the meantime, we can all look at those yellow bollards.

To me, it was better to get this issue out of the way by going back to the way Alfred Street was.  That is why I tried to persaude the Council to reopen the street.

I strongly believe that we need a long hard look at Central Rangiora – its structure, the appearance, the parking, the traffic, etc. because a strong retail centre is vital to Rangiora as a town.  See the following blog post.

But this week’s decision has made progress towards that harder.

What’s Happening in Rangiora’s High Street?

10 July 2009

A long-overdue upgrade of footpaths, street furniture, etc. is under way.  The street has been looking tired for a long time.

It was hoped that we could do up some of the lanes connecting the street with carparks to the north.  Unfortunately, the Council cut the funding a year ago, so what we are getting is a scaled-back version of what could have been.  Needless-to-say, the decision to cut the funding was not unanimous!


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