Work is progressing rapidly on the first stage of Wynyard Quarter’s revitalisation on Auckland’s waterfront, which will be complete in time for the Rugby World Cup 2011. It includes North Wharf, Jellicoe Street, Wynyard Crossing, Gateway Plaza, the Viaduct Events Centre and Silo Park.
At North Wharf, where in only a few months time visitors will be able to choose from a variety of eateries to get the freshest seafood in town, the internal fit out is soon to begin. Eighty per cent of the space has been leased, with an announcement of providers to be made within a month.
The centrepiece of North Wharf, the Old Red Shed, has been restored and its character retained. Previously an old Auckland Harbour Board building dating back to the 1930s, inspiration for its restoration and the two new buildings either side has been taken from the working waterfront and features including the shed’s distinctive red doors, metal bollards and the old railway tracks that have been kept.
On the seaward side of North Wharf on the edge of the Viaduct Harbour is the Viaduct Events Centre. The multi-purpose centre offers 6000m2 of exhibition, meeting and hospitality space and spectacular views of the Waitemata Harbour, and is in the final phase of construction.
On the other side of the North Wharf is Jellicoe Street, which completes the axis that will enable people to walk or cycle the length of Auckland’s waterfront, and will be the hub of events, activities and entertainment during RWC 2011 and beyond, including night markets and a cinema.
Wynyard Quarter will be easily accessible to the CBD via Wynyard Crossing, an opening pedestrian and cycling bridge over Viaduct Harbour. Piling work is currently underway and bridge spans will be put in place later this month, before the opening bridge leaves are installed.
Gateway Plaza is the landing point for Wynyard Crossing in Wynyard Quarter, and this large, public plaza will feature seating, arts and steps down to the water’s edge. Continuing down Jellicoe Street to the other side of Wynyard Quarter people will come to Silo Park, which by Rugby World Cup 2011 will include a playground, an expanse of green open space, a viewing structure and the two character cement silos that have been retained.
Outside of Wynyard Quarter, plenty of progress is being made at other areas of the waterfront. At Westhaven Marina the CCTV system has just had a major overhaul, providing better safety in public areas. Major work has also begun to replace several piers, and next month Z pier and J pier car parks will start to be converted for use by campervans during RWC 2011.
At the opposite end of the waterfront the makeover continues at Queen’s Wharf.
Shed 10 and the red fence are being repaired, the surface is being upgraded, the wharf repaired underneath, services installed and the new structure, and The Cloud will be installed over the coming months. Work continues to coordinate with Quay St contractors, neighbours and the cruise industry.