Britomart businesses face uncertain future

March 16, 2016

Britomart businesses face uncertain future

Businesses at the Britomart Transport Centre will be relocated following the construction of the City Rail Link. Photo: Anneke Smith

Businesses in Britomart Transport Centre are in the dark about their long term future in light of the pending City Rail Link disruption.

Owners and employees are concerned about their long term livelihood in the wake of the construction project, scheduled for May, which claims the space their businesses are leased on.

Sierra Café owner, Joanna Li, was told last year that her leased premises has since been guaranteed a temporary relocation.

“We’ve been told this area will be reopened after three years when the project is finished,” she said.

Ms Li understands the business will be moved to a nearby location outside the transport hub, however, spaces are limited.

Business owners and employees are unsure about the renewal of their lease agreements.

“At this stage we have no idea what will happen,” Ms Li said.

The new train link will close off the area surrounding the transport centre, which may direct customer traffic away from her business and towards eateries near the Britomart Atrium, she said.

Ms Li said Auckland Transport’s consultation with businesses in the transport centre was fair but thought the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Auckland Transport general manager of communications, Wally Thomas, said the organisation has tried to give lease tenants “a level of certainty” about the project’s timeline and its impact on them.

“Beyond that we can’t give any guarantees,” he said.

Britomart convenience store employee, Yasser Yasserezet, said he was unsure about the future of his job and had received much negative feedback about the City Rail Link project from customers.

The construction project aims to enhance Auckland’s growing need for public transport, according to Auckland Transport.

The City Rail Link will consist of an electrified, double-track rail twin tunnels up to 42m below the Auckland’s city centre. It will run for approximately 3.4km between Britomart Transport Centre and the Western Line, connecting to the west of Mount Eden Railway Station.

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