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Auckland Transport will soon begin contacting the owners of properties it needs to buy in order to build its inner city underground rail link.
The proposed route will run through the city connecting Britomart with the existing western line and adding three new underground stations along the way.
But for the Inner City Rail Link to go ahead, Auckland Transport will need to purchase 210 properties, including the Westfield Downtown shopping centre across the road from Britomart.
Westfield's New Zealand director Justin Lynch says the future of the shopping centre will be the subject of on-going discussions between the company and Auckland Council Property Limited.
Lynch says for now, Westfield continues to own, lease and manage Westfield Downtown.
Its resource consent lapses in 2018, three years after construction on the Inner City Rail Link is proposed to begin in 2015-16.
Alex Swney of the central city business association Heart of the City says the property buy-up is just the first step and the Inner City Rail Link link will be a major development for Auckland.
"It's just one of those many steps on what'll be a nine year journey to the completion of this project, a project probably as transformational as building the harbour bridge," Swney said.
The project is expected to cost $2.8 billion and be completed in 2021.
This article first appeared on tvnz.co.nz
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