The upgrade of the streets linking Manners and Victoria Street and the connection through to Cuba St, has been designed to transform this shortcut and make it more walkable and appealing with improved lighting and ground surfaces, adding green spaces and seating, and attracting businesses to the area too.
The initiative was part of the 2040 vision to revitalise the city by transforming laneways that were underutilised. With seven projects finished and more in the pipeline, the results have been hugely positive says Mayor Justin Lester.
“Masons Lane, Eva and Leeds, Bond, and Egmont Streets are all examples of what a difference a bit of smart urban design and TLC can make to an environment.
“Not only do these rejuvenated Laneways contribute to the walkability of the city and the enjoyment factor of locals, but they also attract visitors to the capital, and this all makes the areas more appealing to businesses and residents.”
Central City Projects portfolio lead Councillor Nicola Young believes it’s fitting that the Lombard area has been rejuvenated as a busy hub for business and culture.
“This area used to be the capital’s shoreline, with wharves, Customhouse and the Bond Store, and now this busy, bustling, precinct reflects its history.
“Commercial enterprises are drawn to revitalised and vibrant areas with character, as we have witnessed in the thriving spaces of Eva/Leeds and Egmont Streets. This latest project is already mirroring its predecessors with a popular community of restaurants, cafes, retail outlets, businesses, and the first New Zealand inner-city gin distillery opening soon.”
New kids on the block Denzien Urban Distillery believe the area is a perfect fit for their new venture, according to Director Eamon O’Rourke.
“As urban Wellingtonians, we are of course frequent users of the amenities that have sprung up in Wellington’s burgeoning Laneway scene. In fact, early discussions about our business idea were conducted over a gin or two at Hanging Ditch on Leeds Street, so I guess you could say Laneways are part of our DNA.”
“When we began our quest for the perfect location for New Zealand’s first urban distillery, we knew it had to be somewhere very special.
“Unlike the existing Laneways in the city, Lombard’s focus is on fashion, but we think this is just perfect. Given that gin is the only spirit in Australasia that is consumed by more women than men (55%), we feel like it’s a marriage made in heaven. With foot traffic in the laneway steadily increasing we believe this is to the mutual benefit for all the tenants.”
Everyone is invited to come along and meet the locals and celebrate this new laneway with a food and fashion event this Friday 12 October from 12-2pm.
There’ll be live music, performing arts, and a photo booth.
The event has pedestrian access through the laneway via Manners St, Cuba St or Victoria St. Parking is available at Wilson Parking on Lombard Street.
Other planned Laneway projects:
- Forresters Lane is in progress with lighting still be installed.
- Swan and Garrett Lanes are in the early scoping stages including stakeholder engagement and then the design process.