Revitalising the CBD area in Tokoroa and bringing vibrancy into the town’s centre has been one of Council's great ambitions over the past decade. We are very excited to be able to reveal the Tokoroa CBD Upgrade plans to our community and finally start turning this into a reality.
"We want to thank our community for their input into this process. We have consulted with you at length over the years, and your thoughts and ideas have made a huge impact to the final design," commented Mayor Jenny Shattock. "The wonderful team at DCA Architects have presented us with a plan for the Tokoroa CBD that we are absolutely thrilled with - and we hope you are going to love it too."
The upgrade features a fresh new Leith Place dedicated to enhancing the Tokoroa experience for locals and visitors alike. Green space, seated eating areas, public art and activities - but the key feature is the new i-SITE building. This beautiful structure serves not only as a functional information centre with public toilets but also as an amphitheatre that can seat up to 581 people. The building can be used for events and performances, such as concerts and plays; it can also be used as a viewing platform, and eating area. It will provide a place for people travelling to stop, grab a bite to eat, and rest from the road.
Iconic buildings boost economy
Recent media coverage regarding iconic buildings boosting economic growth is both an exciting read and relevant to the new iconoic i-SITE building we have earmarked for Tokoroa. The article can be accessed here.
"This building is the heart of the upgrade - it's what Tokoroa has been missing. In Tīrau we have the Dog, Putāruru has the old Post Office building, and now in Tokoroa we will have this truly iconic structure." - Councillor Peter Schulte.
This upgrade opens up Tokoroa to be a destination stop on Aotearoa's main road. It will provide our district with a space to be proud of and a place for our people to come together to enjoy the best of their town.
"The Tokoroa CBD Upgrade is a bold and important development that this town is worthy of and it's something I think our whole district can get behind." - Councillor Gray Baldwin
Also in the plans is a Talking Pole Forest - several of our Talking Poles will be relocated to the southern end of Leith Place. The Talking Poles are an important part of Tokoroa's identity and we want to highlight them as a key feature in our town.
"We are thrilled to partner with the South Waikato District Council on this project. The upgrade presents a unique opportunity to showcase the best of Tokoroa while acknowledging its rich history, culture and people. We have come up with a design that celebrates Tokoroa and we are looking forward to seeing this transformation come to life." - Darryl Church, of DCA Architects.
Construction for the upgrade is planned to begin in June of this year, but you will begin to see changes to the Leith Place area from March onwards.
“This upgrade has the ability to change not only how people who travel through view Tokoroa, but also how we view ourselves. My congratulations to Council on this project.” - Garry Brunton, i-SITE Manager
“I approve. Right now people just drive through, but this makes a statement that you have arrived in Tokoroa.” - Lorraine Young, Sweet Rose Cafe
“It’s a great concept.” - David Foote, Footes Furnishings
THINGS TO NOTE
State Highway 1 will be changing to one northern lane and one southern lane with on and off ramps to improve safety and access into the CBD. These changes occur in the next construction season and appropriate signage will be in place to help road users understand the new layout.
There will be some changes to the Bridge Street and Swanston Street entrances into Leith Place to help improve safety and accessibility.
Carparks in Leith Place will drop from 132 to 100 to make way for the new i-SITE building and open space. Council will be making improvements to the Dreghron Carpark to compensate for the loss of these parks. Two electric car charging stations will be installed somewhere in the CBD area.
Council is investing $3,970,000 into the Tokoroa CBD Upgrade. This figure covers all the important costs, from infrastructure down to road marking.