An exciting purchase with an eye to a people-focussed future

04/08/2022 5:05am

Nelson City Council has purchased the bus depot on Bridge Street with a view to turning it into a potential destination for a City Centre playground or housing.

Strategically placed at the centre of the Bridge Street Active Transport Corridor, proposed in Te Ara ō Whakatū – Nelson’s City Centre Spatial Plan, buses will still run from the site until an alternative is found. 

Elected members agreed to the proposal to purchase the site from SBL Group in May 2022. Following a period of due diligence, the sale and purchase agreement has now become unconditional. Council has purchased the property for $2,925,000, a price determined by an independent market valuation, and takes ownership on 1 July 2023. 

Strategic Property and Development Subcommittee Chair Gaile Noonan said it was the ideal time to make the purchase as it fits with so many of Council’s goals for the City Centre. 

“When it comes to creating a city where people come first, that spot on Bridge Street is prime Nelson real estate,” says Councillor Noonan. “What we build there is still to be decided, but a city centre playground is the lead option.”  
The site is well-placed both for the people who will move into Kāinga Ora’s proposed new affordable and social housing in Whakatū Square, and families walking and cycling through the Bridge Street Active Transport Corridor. 

Once in place, the active transport corridor aims to make Bridge Street a green and vibrant place for people to enjoy, with more space allocated to those on foot or a bike and a reduction in car traffic. 

Budget for a City Centre playground was included in the 2021-31 Long Term Plan. A total of $220,000 is available for the design and delivery of play areas in the 2022/23 financial year, and there is $1,124m in Years 4 and 5 of the Long Term Plan 2021-31 set aside for building the playground. 

The site could also be used for City Centre housing, another of Council’s key priorities. Options would include on-selling the site to a housing provider, partnering with others, or packaging it with design and consents already approved. The site is not large enough for both housing and a playground, but it could accommodate a smaller park or open space as well as housing. 

Council staff will provide elected members with a report on the future uses of the site and a decision will be made after local elections have taken place. 

More information about the Bridge Street Transport Corridor can be found on Our Nelson: