Archive | CBD

Multiplex gets new consent increasing units in Clode’s Parliament St project

Planning consent, 24 September 2002:

City eastern fringe, 1 Parliament St, Auckland City Council’s regulatory & fixtures sub-committee granted Multiplex Constructions NZ Ltd (headed by Shane Brealey) non-notified hearing & resource consent, increasing the number of units in the Brent Clode apartment building from 195 in the previous consent (granted in 2000) to 229.

An intervening application last year, not pursued, would have taken the number of apartments in the same envelope to 212.

The new proposal makes some adjustments reducing the impact on apartments in the Quest Darlinghurst apartment hotel building next door on Eden Crescent. That development always recognised the likelihood of a neighbour, with only small windows on the Clode side.

An earlier Clode proposal would have blocked those windows, but the new proposal reduces the solid podium wall on that half of the site from 9m to 1.5m and also shifts the tower. That will allow an outdoor lap pool & spa area on the Anzac Ave side, at the Eden Crescent ground level. There will also be a gym, and a basketball hoop, on that level.

The new tower will have 16 storeys above 4 basement levels containing 186 parks. The design has 10 units on ground level, 14 on level 1, 16 on each of levels 2-12, 14 on level 13 and 2 on level 15. A 3m verandah will be erected on the Anzac Ave frontage.

Multiplex took over construction & project management, extended to paying the bills, after soil subsided into the basement cavity in January, killing a workman.

Earlier stories: 22 August 2001: Council gets picky about Clode project

27 March 2002: Parliament St mortgage broker ordered off job

Clode’s Parliament St hole drags in brokers, lenders, valuers

Click to return to Auckland City consent activity 24 September 2002

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Council offers no help to synagogue over heritage scheduling

Buyer discovered proposed heritage categorisation during due diligence

Auckland City Council’s city development committee decided at a special meeting on Wednesday to take no action over the heritage scheduling of the Greys Avenue synagogue.

The decision leaves the heritage scheduling in place, and puts the onus on the synagogue trust board to find a way out of its financial predicament.

The Auckland Hebrew Congregation Trust Board wasn’t aware of the heritage categorisation and it called on the council committee on 28 November to find a quick solution.

The congregation has contracted to move to Ellerslie, conditional only on resource consent being granted for its plans there.

To proceed, the congregation was relying on money to come from selling its Greys Avenue property in the city.

Buyer discovered value-cutting scheduling, and council unmoved

But the buyer of the Greys Avenue property, the Japanese operator of an English language school, discovered that under the 1997 proposed district plan the council had placed a heritage A classification on the synagogue — built only in 1967 — but not Kadimah College, a private school on the property built subsequently.

Councillors were sympathetic, but stuck to heritage manager George Farrant (right)’s recommendation to take no action, mainly because of the implications of doing otherwise.

The synagogue trust board wanted the property taken off the heritage schedule in the proposed district plan because it wasn’t directly advised of the proposed schedule. Mr Farrant outlined the consultation process on the plan and said the council had met its statutory requirements in full.

Council should be wary, says Farrant

Mr Farrant also said:

The council should be wary of making an ad hoc decision to overturn the scheduling “lest it trigger an overwhelming cascade of similar requests,” and

the scoring criteria for scheduling couldn’t be arbitrarily adjusted “without potentially compromising the valuable robustness & transparency of council’s assessment systems.”Timing increases the synagogue board’s difficulties: it’s unable to pursue a private plan change yet because the scheduling is part of the proposed plan, not the operative one.

It could request a private plan variation (to the proposed plan) to remove the property from the schedule, but the council would “need to be certain it could safely support the proposal before it was notified as a variation.”

Said Mr Farrant: “The heritage division would not recommend or support any ad hoc descheduling process because the building has been impartially assessed (and reassessed) and meets the criteria for scheduling. To do so at such a late stage in the central area plan statutory process would also run the considerable risk of having to offer identical opportunity to all others whose activities were constrained by the proposed plan, whether heritage or not.

“At worst, any arbitrary changes could compromise & lead to a repeat of part or all of the plan process time, and cost implications of this are salutary.”

Building line restriction cancelled

Also at the special committee meeting, councillors agreed to cancel a building line restriction affecting 59 St Vincent’s Avenue, Remuera.

The subject had been before the planning fixtures sub-committee, which didn’t have the delegated power to deal with it.

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70 Nelson St sells

CBD western fringe, 70 Nelson St, next to Youthtown, between Wellesley & Cook Sts, the Haliday Family Trust has bought the property from Passage Holdings Ltd (Murray Bolton & Maurice Crosby) for $1.35 million.

The 2-storey building contains 886m² on an 862m² site, with 1 parking space. The building was completely refurbished to accommodate the tenant, Auckland Bridge Climb Ltd. Sales agent: Henry Playne, CB Richard Ellis.

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Dromgool & Fraser get revised consent for next Maritime Square stage

Planning consent, 13 September 2002:

Viaduct Harbour, 77 Fanshawe St, Auckland City Council’s regulatory & fixtures sub-committee granted non-notified hearing but deferred its decision on the revised resource consent application for a 5-level office building by M3 Investments Ltd (Tim Dromgool & Allan Fraser, whose other interests include Newcrest Developments Ltd, Salamanca Investments Ltd, as well as M4 Investments Ltd and M5 Investments Ltd for future stages of Maritime Square office park expansion).

Consent was granted in the next week after a hearing by the committee’s 3 members. Excavation for the basement parking has started.

The original consent was granted in March. M3’s new proposal has a pedestrian through-site link (which cuts the financial contribution to the council by 2.5%) and 81 parking spaces, including 14 pairs of mechanically stacked parks, in place of the previous 63 parking spaces.

The gross office floor area has been increased from 8413m² to 8450m².

This part of the Viaduct Harbour precinct, bounded by Fanshawe St along to Halsey St and fronted by Viaduct Harbour Avenue, has a limit of 30,000m² of office space. After development of the original Maritime Square, a gross 9508m² was left. M3’s development leaves 1058m² of office space available for the adjoining Projex (now Hirequip) site to the west, on the Halsey St corner.

A large public plaza will be incorporated in the development on that site, connecting to M3’s through-site link. The link will be finished in materials similar to those of the precinct’s footpaths and Bouzaid Way, which separates this building from Maritime Square.

A design feature is a sunshade along the roof parapet.

Click to return to Auckland City consent activity 13 September 2002

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Office tower didn’t work, so on to plan B

Convention centre for Symphony Hobson St site

Symphony Group can switch from plans for an office block to a convention centre for the Hobson St site adjoining the Heritage Grand hotel.

Auckland City Council’s planning fixtures subcommittee decided yesterday to allow the switch as a noncomplying use in what is now designated a residential precinct of downtown Auckland under the proposed district plan.

The development company was granted consent for the change without the need for notification of its proposal or a hearing.

Symphony turned the former Farmers’ department store on the corner of Hobson and Wyndham Sts into a hotel then built the Heritage Grand on Nelson St, with the lane between them turned into a private road.

The Heritage Grand construction programme incorporated three levels of underground parking for both that 15-storey building and the proposed 16-floor office block which was to back on to it across the lane from the original Heritage. However Symphony was unable to convince the market of the merits of its office proposal.

Meanwhile, AMP Asset Management has closed the Downtown Convention Centre to make way for its Waterfront Tower on Quay St. So Symphony decided last November to apply for consent to build a 4500m² convention centre, with allocation to it of 132 out of the 412 parking spaces originally allowed.

But a complication for the new proposal is that a convention centre, the sort of place likely to attract large volumes of vehicles, is only allowed a few parks under the city council’s far-from-proactive encouragement of the populace to use public transport.

The existing district plan allows one park to 105m² in this precinct, and the proposed plan would cut the allowance to 1:160m². So the plans allow 42 spaces (now) or 27 (the proposed plan).

But you can hardly fill in all the parking spaces already created, and in any case committee members were more concerned that there wouldn’t be enough parking, while senior planner John Stoupe vainly tried to support the “let’s all catch the bus” notion.

A suggestion from city planning manager John Duthie that there would be capacity nearby at the Sky City casino and hotel and under the ANZ Centre was ignored.

Symphony must provide 90 of the 132 spaces for short-term public parking, an imposition directed at deterring all-day commuter parking, but without another past deterrent factor, a council-imposed pricing schedule aimed at putting people off parking altogether.

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Big-tenant signings could hit 100,000m² this year

Synnott says more big leases in pipeline, new tower needed around 2005

Colliers Jardine managing director Mark Synnott says another officer tower could be built in downtown Auckland in 4-6 years.

The demand is evident, he told members of the Property Council tonight at a Christmas function in the Royal SunAlliance Centre in Shortland St.

Last year was known to be a big one in leasing terms in Auckland — 12 years after the big leasing year of the 80s, with numerous expiries requiring major tenants to decide whether to stay put, requiring a refurbishment, or shift into new premises.

But Mr Synnott said 1999 was already dwarfed by leasings this year — 80,000m² to tenants requiring at least 1000m², compared to 70,000m² to big tenants last year — and he expected the figure to reach 100,000m² by year’s end.

One of the biggest signings of the year is to ASB Bank, which will get an impressively different new back-office building of about 9000m² at the southern entrance to Neil International’s Albany Centre. Earthworks have begun just above the Greville Rd-Albany Highway intersection for the building, worth about $25 million.

Mr Synnott said Colliers Jardine was talking to three prospective city tenants, all for spaces of 6-8000m², which would need premium premises in about 2005. The market was tightening, with another major AMP tenant expected to be signed by the end of the year and negotiations on 3-4 floors of the Royal SunAlliance Centre.

One factor to boost the premium inner-city market was the international rationalisation of businesses. Without mergers and acquisitions activity, he said the New Zealand market would have been very quiet. But big international mergers such as Price Waterhouse with Coopers & Lybrand (going into AMP’s waterfront PricewaterhouseCoopers Tower) made the difference.

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Chinese buyer for Westpac’s Queen St building

A first-time Chinese investor has bought Westpac Bank’s 10-storey building at 79-85 Queen St for $12.345 million at a 9.4% yield, in a sale/leaseback deal.

The sale completes Westpac’s 2-year property divestment programme. Westpac remains the sole tenant of the 4102m² building, sold with a 9-year lease in place.

The bank has also taken 6 floors in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Tower on Quay St. The sale was negotiated by David Bayley and James Chan of Bayleys Real Estate.

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Golden HSBC building sold

Yield on current rent (ignoring renovation cost) 8.7%

Queen St landmark, the golden-glassed HSBC building on the corner of Wellesley St, has been sold for $13.65 million, after a $2.73 million refurbishment programme.

Singapore company Sintau Ltd (Ng Siong Tee) bought the building in 1993 for $15.54 million, up from the $14.125 million some other Chinese investors paid earlier that year. The new buyer is also Chinese.

Fletcher Challenge built what it called Queen Street One (at No 290) in 1985 for $8.5 million. The 5898m² building had 15 storeys, including a ground-floor arcade and parking in the basement and on level 1.

HSBC, which also has naming rights on the HSBC Centre at 1 Queen St, recently renewed its lease for 5 years. Out of the renovations, the Wendy’s hamburger restaurant has Queen St & mezzanine levels and 4 other shops have Queen St exposure.

The basement was renovated to provide additional retail space for HSBC and a new retail frontage was also provided for HSBC.

4 of the office levels (3, 4, 7 & 8, each of 414m²) are vacant.

The property was sold by David Bayley & James Chan of Bayleys Real Estate. Mr Bayley said current net income of $1.191 million gave a yield on sale of 8.7%.

Projected net rental income for the building when fully leased is about $1.486 million.

Mr Chan said Asian investment interest in New Zealand remained strong, despite the appreciation in the New Zealand dollar. The attraction lay in New Zealand’s stable investment environment and income yields which are higher than in Asia.

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Council sticks with demand in Beaumont Quarter reserves tradeoff

Planning consent, 19 July 2002:

Beaumont St, Auckland City Council’s regulatory & fixtures sub-committee stuck with the officer’s recommendation on a deal with Beaumont Quarter developer Melview Developments Ltd (Nigel McKenna) on reducing the financial contribution for reserves to take into account the provision of public open space within the property and refurbishment of 2 heritage buildings, the former Auckland Gas Co head office (turned into strata-titled offices) and the exhaust building (turned into a community recreation centre).

The issue boiled down to a payment of $1 million (Melview’s net offer) and a council demand for $1,178,364, the figure the committee approved.

Melview asked for a set-off of its reserves contribution for the provision of public open space in the Beaumont Quarter development, which covers 2.4ha at the foot of College Hill and across Beaumont St from Victoria Park. The development will allow public pedestrian access between Ponsonby and Viaduct Harbour, rather than being a gated community.

Senior council planner Rod Riley said the council could register its interest in protecting the heritage buildings on the titles.

He said Melview’s request should be agreed to in principle, but the company & council disagreed on the dollars.

On the council’s assessment of reserves contribution, $3.264 million was due (on the basis of 208 units at the value of 30m²/unit, and at a land value of $523/m²).

Among the calculations, the Beaumont Quarter’s 208 townhouses would accommodate 582 people at an average 2.8/unit. Common areas totalled 3340m², which was 16.7% of the assessed open space needs.

The Local Government Act standard is 4ha of open space for every 1000 people, so this development would need about 2ha.

Melview said it had spent about $1.05 million developing open space areas. The company’s calculation of open space totalled 6456m², worth $3.375 million at $523/m², and it calculated the heritage value of the buildings at 50% of the $2.5 million investment cost.

Click to return to Auckland City consent activity 19 July 2002

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Opposition based on quest for commercial advantage, says AMP

Claim rejected, but not denied, in closing submissions

Did Andrew Krukziener and his partners in No 1 Queen St Ltd have legitimate concerns about AMP Asset Management’s waterfront tower development, or has that concern been raised in a play for commercial advantage?

AMP’s lawyers said in submissions to the High Court judicial review on granting of resource consent for the project that attempts to get commercial advantage were certainly evident — and that the suggestion of trade competition was one reason One Queen’s written approval for the project was not required.

One Queen’s counsel, Mark Cooper, rejected — but did not deny — the accusation in his closing submissions to Justice David Tompkins today. Those closing submissions were a brief synopsis. On this issue, Mr Cooper said: “There is nothing in the evidence to justify the suggestion or indeed a submission, that these proceedings have been commenced for commercial advantage.”

AMP took a different view, in an outline by junior counsel Mary Peters of One Queen’s behaviour through the period when it was competing with AMP for tenants, should have known AMP had gained resource consent, allegedly delayed taking legal action over that consent being granted, and into the period of the judicial review itself.

AMP’s accusation on this arose out of a letter from One Queen’s lawyers, Knight Coldicutt, written on 27 May 1999, the day after Auckland City Council granted AMP consent for its tower. Some issues relating to the construction period were raised, concern was expressed at the proposed tower’s height, and the letter said One Queen considered the aesthetic of the building inappropriate and sought AMP’s co-operation in helping to redesign it.

Then, Miss Peters said in an outline of the letter’s content, “these matters would be used to oppose the development if the council decided it required to be notified or, alternatively, as the basis for negotiating an ‘appropriate settlement’. If the latter could be achieved, Krukziener Properties would not only provide written consent but actively support the building.

“Mr Phillips [Paul Phillips, of AMP] believed the reference to an ‘appropriate settlement’ meant a cash payment by AMPAM to the plaintiff/Krukziener Properties and there is no suggestion in the affidavits filed in reply that he was mistaken. A cash payment was not something AMP was willing to make,” Miss Peters said.

She said AMP executives spoke to the council about resolving issues with One Queen, but that a copy of this letter was not sent to the council, One Queen executives did not return calls, and the council had no way of knowing One Queen’s position except through AMP.

There was also a draft letter from Krukziener Properties’ leasing manager, Daniel Henderson, written two weeks before the consent was granted. In that draft Mr Henderson proposed reviewing the Krukziener opposition to the AMP tower if, among other things, his company could have a licence of up to 50 parking spaces in the new tower.

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