New perspectives for the city of Tokoroa as a new professional association is formed

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A trade association for the Tokoroa central business district is being formed.

LUKE KIRKEBY / Stuff

A trade association for the Tokoroa central business district is being formed.

Tokoroa businesses are taking action after years of watching South Waikato’s central business district die.

Town Center Development Group Urban and Economic Development Consultant Karen Remetis, who has over 30 years of experience in the field, stepped in to work with business and commercial property owners to establish a trade association for the Tokoroa central business district (CBD).

The association, in collaboration with the South Waikato District Council, will establish a Business Improvement District (BID) program funded by a target rate. The money will be used for activities / initiatives decided by the association that promote economic growth in the region.

Remetis, who worked on similar plans for Howick Village and Takapuna Beach in the late ’90s, said it’s time for Tokoroa’s commercial network to start thinking outside the box when it comes to shopping. attack the dying downtown of the city.

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“In the 90s big box retailing was the first thing that completely emptied many city centers and then we had the Building Amendment Act which required buildings to be at a certain standard and an increase in standards. online shopping, ”she said. noted.

You cannot go back to the way our cities were, we are changing and people have to embrace this change. We need to start thinking outside the box when it comes to vacant retail space, whether it’s opening it up for light commercial development or residential.

“Our cities are there for a purpose, they are there to create a wonderful atmosphere and provide services to people. Here in CBD there is so much you could do.

Tokoroa city center has long been filled with empty and dilapidated commercial buildings.

LUKE KIRKEBY / Stuff

Tokoroa city center has long been filled with empty and dilapidated commercial buildings.

Remetis said Tokoroa’s art and sculpture scene is something she would like to see further explored.

“A good example of how this might work is Whanganui, where right in the city center is a two-level glassblowing room,” she said.

“You step into a beautiful blown glass that you can buy and when you look down there is a huge hole in the ground all the way down to the lower level where the glass blowing takes place.

“There are other alternatives like this that we have to start looking for.”

She said an interim committee of 11 people had been set up to start the process.

“We have had five meetings so far and everyone is really on board,” she said.

“It’s complex and there is a lot to do, but I think it’s going to be great.”


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