Hastings’ Eastside Eat Street project has received a funding boost that will further enhance one of the city’s favourite outdoor dining areas.
The first stage of the Heretaunga Street East (200 block) project, referred to as Eastside Eat Street, is about to get underway on Monday, June 29.
Developed through public consultation last year, it will provide shaded dining areas on widened footpaths, with outdoor furniture and planter boxes complementing the existing trees and gardens.
As well as seating linked to eateries, there will be public tables for anyone to use, designed by Jacob Scott to reflect the welcoming inclusiveness of the city.
Today, Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency announced a $300,000 grant to Hastings District Council from its Innovating Streets pilot fund for Eastside Eat Street Stage Two.
While the project will be co-designed with business owners, the concept supported by Waka Kotahi aims to create a pedestrian-friendly experience, with overhead festoon lights and ability to close the street after hours for events.
Waka Kotahi urban mobility programme manager Kathryn King said the Innovating Streets pilot fund supports quick, low-cost interim improvements that create more people-friendly spaces in our neighbourhoods.
“By using a ‘tactical urbanism’ approach to test what works for communities we can create attractive, vibrant places that make space for people and help to support local businesses. We’re pleased to support this exciting Hastings project through the Innovating Streets pilot fund.”
Getting Stage One of the project underway now is perfect timing, said Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst.
“As well as adding a stunning vibrant space to our city for everyone to enjoy, we are also bringing forward our planned projects to help support our CBD businesses and our local construction teams when they need it most, post-COVID.”
Final design for the project was completed in November with input from a range of organisations, including adjacent retailers, Hastings City Business Association and Landmarks Trust, to ensure that the needs of both hospitality and general retailers were met and that the project added a unique flavour to the city.
The design ensures vehicle access is maintained and pedestrian access is enhanced.
“Our hospitality business owners in that area are proud owner-operators; artisans who are passionate about showcasing the best of Hastings and our region’s produce. They have contributed to this vision that will give this part of our city a unique, authentic flavour,” Mrs Hazlehurst said.
As well as working with Council on the layout of the street furniture and shade siting, the business owners chose lime trees for the planter boxes.
“The vision is to be sitting out in our fabulous Hastings climate with friends and family; surrounded by lush green foliage, plucking a lime to squeeze over your fish or avocado, or to add to your gin.”
The Stage One work is programmed to take about 12 weeks (weather permitting), ideally completed ahead of the busy summer season. Business owners in the affected parts of the street are being individually advised of any impacts and assured that access to businesses will be maintained at all times.
The Eastside Eat Street project is one of the 20 projects in the Hastings City Centre Revitalisation Plan, adopted by Council last year after comprehensive public consultation.
Projects already completed include Railway Road corridor improvements, Eastbourne Street upgrade and Toitoi entranceway improvements.
Underway are the Landmarks Square extension, Karamu Road street upgrade, a Warren Street carpark outdoor dining zone, and planning for Albert Square enhancements, Central Mall and Civic Square.