Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan
What is proposed for delivery in this draft plan?
We're proposing $327.7m investment over ten years, which covers:
- CBD Arterial Routes - 3 Stages
- Two Carparking Buildings
- Public Transport Hub
- Alternative Transport Options
- Ferry/Water Taxi
- Street Upgrades
- Community Heart
- Funding the Masterplan
Access to and around the CBD is critical to the success of the Masterplan. Planned across three construction stages, the total programme carries the most significant capital expenditure in the draft plan at $148.8M. With an overall route running from Melbourne Street to Henry Street (stage one), Henry Street to Man Street (stage two), and Man Street to Thompson Street (stage three), the programme is due for completion June 2022, June 2023 and June 2024 respectively.
In financially planning for the Queenstown arterials we have assumed a significant funding contribution of 80% ($111.6M) from NZTA. Other roading developments and improvements have been assumed at a standard funding assistance rate (FAR) rating of 51%.
In this draft Ten Year Plan we’ve included two new parking buildings, which is a change to the current 2015-25 Ten Year Plan. The first is a new 242-space parking building at the current Boundary Street car park; due for completion by June 2020 at a cost of $18.3M. The second is a 350-space parking facility on the current Ballarat Street parking site; due for completion by June 2021 at a cost of $25.8M. Also included is $3.9M for a parking management system for the parking buildings. Timing is a crucial aspect of this programme so development has been scheduled to minimise inconvenience and take advantage of the shift from car to public and active transport.
To improve the overall parking experience for commuters and visitors, the plan also includes $8.3M to invest in technology, such as real-time parking information, variable pricing controls, way-finding, bike parks etc.
The cost is included in this draft but the Council is committed to considering whether we can partner with private sector investors to provide these buildings or alternatives.
Following the November 2017 introduction of the $2.00 bus service in partnership with the Otago Regional Council, QLDC continues to encourage and facilitate the use of public transport as a sustainable alternative to private car use, which includes the development of bus priority lanes in key corridors such as Stanley Street. For public transport to be a realistic choice for visitors and commuters it must be efficient with access to the heart of the town.
The proposed arterial routes are essential in delivering this high quality level of service, so the programme for a new dedicated transport hub follows the completion of stages one and two of the arterials. This sees design and construction underway in 2021 and the new facility completed by June 2023. Costs for the construction of a transport hub and priority bus lanes on Stanley Street total $25.4M and have been detailed in the draft Ten Year Plan.
Road-based options for transport will always be limited by Queenstown’s situation between lake and mountains. So it’s important to invest in alternatives that don’t rely on the road network and may be more sustainable or promote a healthy lifestyle.
Active transport methods, such as cycling and walking is a key part of the Queenstown Integrated Transport System Plan and has been a focus of Wanaka’s strategic travel thinking. Details of projects that deliver improved signage, shared paths and upgrades to existing Queenstown access routes are closely aligned with the delivery of the arterial routes, such as new shared cycle and pedestrian paths on Man Street and Thompson Street. A phased programme is planned to begin in 2018 and complete in 2024 at a total cost of $23.5M. One notable project is an upgrade to the Park Street to Hotops Rise cycle lane at a cost of $7.4M due for completion by 2020.
Beyond the town centres, QLDC will look to identify and implement an on- and off-road connected pedestrian and cycle network (see Wanaka Masterplan). This responds to a growing community vision that this network would connect: all schools; major transport hubs; residential and business areas. In Queenstown, destinations that are likely to be within the networks include Arthurs Point, Fernhill, Lake Hayes, Shotover Country, Frankton, Kelvin Heights, and Jack’s Point.
Given the location of urban development around Lake Wakatipu’s Frankton Arm, it can provide a vital lifeline in Queenstown’s public transport strategy as a realistic alternative to access roads that are constrained by our unique landscape. We believe services that include water taxis and ferries could revolutionise how commuters and visitors come into the CBD from locations such as Frankton and Kelvin Heights. Commencing in the financial year 2020/21 the draft plan includes $6.1M for the provision of a ferry/water taxi network infrastructure to be completed by mid-2025.
Part of creating liveable, accessible town centres lies in ensuring it’s an environment people want to spend time in, with pedestrians prioritised. No significant upgrades have been made to many of the proposed Queenstown locations for more than two decades. It’s timely to plan an upgrade as part of the Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan.
The projects planned as part of this upgrade programme ($49.5M in total) include the widening of footpaths on Stanley Street and Shotover Street, upgrading Camp Street to include a new cycle lane, developing Rees Street, Lower Brecon Street and the pedestrianised portion of Beach Street into shared open spaces, and also upgrading Athol Street and Brecon Street (from the Gondola to Man Street). Details of costs (which assume a 41% NZTA subsidy) and project completions are available in the draft plan.
The Queenstown Masterplan identifies that the Stanley Street site, partly Council reserve and partly Ministry of Education land is the preferred location for a community heart, including arts and culture facilities. The plan has identified that co-locating these facilities with the Council building and library will create a vibrant cultural centre in the CBD.
Although this draft plan does not include funding for built facilities (the exception is funding for the replacement of the Memorial Hall $10.9M, should the new arterial require the hall site) it does include funding for planning the site ($516k). Further research into community needs and the future of arts and culture across the district will enable the Council to plan how it should respond. This is not simply about built structures, but will inform future decisions relating to prospective facilities for both Wanaka and Queenstown and define what these may look like.
There are four options for the community to consider:
- Option 1 (preferred): Complete the programme as outlined in the Draft Plan
- Option 2: Defer stage 3 of the arterials programme
- Option 3: Complete the full programme
- Option 4: Complete minimal transport and parking changes only.
The $327.7M Queenstown Integrated Transport Strategy includes some of the assumptions we’ve already outlined in relation to NZTA funding. Of the total, our assumption is that the QLDC share is $157.4M in increased levels of service.
Some elements like parking buildings are 100% cost recoverable (i.e. paid for by revenue or income) but for the balance we will need to apply this cost in some form to rates.
In order to ensure that future generations continue to pay for the benefit of the investment, a 30 year repayment period has been modelled, amounting to $3.5M per annum (including 5% interest). This impact will not come into effect for at least three years but we cannot consult on the programme without consulting on how we propose to pay for it.
Council considered it was important to agree what would be fair and equitable and who would benefit the most from this significant investment. The draft plan includes two options for funding our share:
- Option 1 - Rates recovery focussed on wider CBD ratepayers (preferred option)
- Option 2 - Apply costs to existing Wakatipu Roading Rates
You can read the full details in the consultation document.