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Sample Report #1
Snapshot of the Week, to 28 January 2001
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|Report Last Edited
|| 29 Jan 2001
Last year the Sample page contained whole stories — a string which ran a mile down the page. The website contains a fair mix of long, short and medium, with several Snapshots pages containing numerous brief items for the week on world property and business, local property and some pages for specific areas, such as weekly resource consent pages for Auckland City.
It still runs a mile down the page but, for a while, the Sample page will show a range of these shorter items. First up is Snapshot of the Week.
Items are listed here in categories, with the latest news appearing first in each category. All this Snapshot is, is headings, with the details of each item on another page.
Kitchener loses Keystone judgment: The story and the implications
Auckland City consent activity, 24 January 2001
Signs bylaw exemption applications to be heard fortnightly (Auckland City)
Rodney consent activity, January 2001
Infratil target bought 30% above book value as income falls
Appraisal says Kiwi Income offer fair, with improved future for KDT investors
Tasman Ag sells two more, 31% above book value
Recycling Michael Andrews at Fletcher Building
Carter Holt earnings up but outlook gloomy
Westfield America Inc & Trust both up
Pirelli sets up London property office
JC Penney to close 47 stores
US housing figures show big fall in December permits
Extended Stay chain growing rapidly
Boma International net portal
Carousel mall expands
Equity Office sells office block
AMC cinema chain makes another loss
Carey signs for new corporate facility
Loews cinema chain faces debt deadline
Nursing home investor LTC’s earnings down
Universal Health profit up
Kuwaitis invest in US
Lend Lease in Boston development
More steel alliances
Mergers accounting basis changes
Lucent $US1b loss and restructure to follow
Lone Star to buy Tokyo Sowa bank
Greenspan supports tax cuts
Sample Report #2
Auckland City consent activity, 20 December 2000
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Next is the headings list from Auckland City Council’s consent activity on 20 December 2000:
Latest: Commissioners appointed for 508 Queen St and 74 Wakefield apartment projects, and for AMP tower bonus change; university library area redevelopment first stage consent deferred, Sanctuary to hand over Icon towers project on Symonds St to single operator, Starline gets non-notified hearing for Quay Park parking building, OKs for Logan Brewer addition, Symphony on New City Markets site, Edinburgh Lofts off K Rd, language school at Greenpark, smaller McDonald’s head office development, next stage of Redwood’s Eden Village, Perry’s galvanising plant at Avondale; deferral on Vodafone sign.
Planning fixtures sub-committee decisions, 20 December 2000
The committee appointed commissioners to determine three consent applications:
508-510 Queen St, application by Golden Mile Holdings Ltd (Kwok Wai To and Cheng Siu Fung Anne), 12-level apartment building. The proposal is to build 140 apartments on the 695m² site of a vacant warehouse and small Thai restaurant at the top of Queen St. It will have a retail unit, gym, office, lobby and manager’s apartment on the ground floor, 12 apartments on each of the first and top two floor, and 13 apartments on the other eight floors.
74-76 Wakefield St, application by Tony Tay & Associates for a 16-storey block of serviced apartments, including a commercial laundry, a restaurant and two basement levels.
186-194 Quay St, AMP NZ Office Trust’s PricewaterhouseCoopers Tower, application for work-of-art bonus to replace heritage floorspace bonus in existing resource consent. Cllr Yates said the Society for the Protection of Auckland City & Waterfront, which withdrew its court action protesting non-notification of the original consent, was a party to be notified of this application.
The rest of that report concerns determinations of whether hearings should be notified, and decisions on resource consent applications.
Sample Report #3
Snapshot on world property, week to 21 January 2001
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|| 29 Jan 2001
Third sample is from the Snapshot on world property, the week to 21 January 2001:
Latest: Burnham Pacific signs new deal as liquidation continues, 250ha business park for Qingdao, Swire Pacific loses $NZ1.3b arbitration case, Singapore introduces business park flexibility, Kaohsiung rail project starts, spec tower across Hudson from Manhattan, 17% return on three-year Daytona hotel revamp, bidding war for UK housebuilders, Harvey Norman up 11.9%, German-backed Millennium buys six US Ritz-Carltons, Prentiss exits markets and homes in on Washington.
18 January 2001
Burnham Pacific Properties Inc, which became a real estate investment trust in 1987, expanded hugely in the last four years but now has a deathwish, has signed a deal to sell 19 grocery-anchored Californian shopping centres to Weingarten Realty Investors for $US145.5 million in cash plus the assumption of $US143.6 million of debt, $US14 million less than it was to get from a sale which fell over late last year. The centres contain 230,110m² gross lettable area between them, which gives the sale a value of $NZ2823/m². The trust finished 1999 with $US1 billion of property, 40% net equity and a 4.54% return on equity, slightly better than the previous year. That return is now down to 1.51%. Directors started looking at the trust’s options in early 1999 after rejecting a takeover bid at a premium, recommended liquidation of the whole trust last August and have been pursuing liquidation since. Burnham’s portfolio was worth only $US350 million in 1996 and would have been about $US2 billion if it had stuck with a deal to buy AMB Properties.
17 January 2001
Singapore companies Creative Technology and Dragon Land have unveiled plans for a 250ha high-tech communications business park to be developed in Qingdao, China’s second busiest port city with a population of seven million, home to many multinationals and to many local appliance makers.
Swire Pacific has lost a $HK4.5 billion ($NZ1.3 billion) arbitration case over the payment of land fees on developments in Taikoo Shing. The arbitration concerned premium and interest on three office projects and one residential development built in the 80s and 90s. Swire said all but $HK151 million would come from reserves and the decision would not affect the company’s plans to continue Island East projects, including expansion of two where a premium would now have to be paid.
16 January 2001
Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has decided to eliminate its 15% cap on “white” uses in business parks, which include non-work-related amenities such as shops, restaurants, childcare centres and recreational facilities. It has also halved the minimum land area required for a business park, from 10ha to 5ha.
Preliminary work has begun on the Kaohsiung mass transit railway system in Taiwan, a $T200 billion ($NZ13.8 billion) build-operate-transfer (BOT) project which will have a 28km north-south line and a 14km east-west line. Siemens has taken a 10% stake and will supply core train and power systems. The project still has a city council complication — the council has guaranteed the required four-year funding, but still requires annual budget approval. Full construction is expected to start mid-year and the rail company is expected to list at the end of the year. Kaohsiung, at the foot of Taiwan, has the island’s largest port.
SJP Properties began work in September on the first of two twin 13-storey, 51,000m² office blocks in Hoboken City, across the Hudson River from midtown Manhattan in New York, and has decided to spec the second tower in its Waterfront Corporate Centre. It’s part of a mixed-use development by the city, the New York & New Jersey Port Authority and private interests, transforming 20ha of unused waterfront.
Boykin Lodging Co of Cleveland, Ohio, has sold its Daytona Beach Radisson Resort to Oceans Resorts for $US12.5 million three years after buying a 1974 beachfront hotel which it completely revamped. It bought for $US4 million, spent an extra $US6.5 million to get an as-new franchised hotel for $US52,000/room, added one room to the original 205 and sold for $US60,680/room ($NZ137,000/room). The return on the original investment and refurbishment looks like 17%.
The British housebuilding industry is in a spin, with offers of all kinds revolving round the proposed Bryant Group-Beazer merger into Domus. An hour before Bryant shareholders were to vote on the merger, Taylor Woodrow filed a £520 million ($NZ1.7 billion) bid for Bryant. A fourth builder, Persimmon plc, said it would bid this week for Beazer.
Sample Report #4
November 2000 building consent figures
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|| 29 Jan 2001
Next is an example of monthly housing statistics:
Still lower than 1999, but some aspects more positive
November’s building consent figures, released late because of the holiday period, show the consistent 21-22% decline of 2000 new dwelling unit numbers on figures for 1999.
But it’s not all grim: the average size of dwellings in the year to November is the largest since 1996 (the average for both years is 172m²) and the average value/m² is also the highest in that five-year period ($832/m², beating the 1998 average by a dollar).
Monthly values of residential construction show no pattern whatsoever — at $827/m², the November 2000 figure was $5 above November 1999, but at the low end of averages for 2000, which were headed by $861/m² in June. The average size of dwelling for which applications were made in November 2000 was 177m² — 5m² above the average for the year, 20m² bigger than the average for the year in 1998.
The monthly tally of applications was 1700 in November 2000, down 22% on the year before and 19% on 1998. The annual tally for the year to November was 20,711, 21% below the extremely high 26,146 of the previous year but only 2% below the level two years earlier.
Statistics NZ’s figures for apartment consents show a total for the year to November 2000 of 2572, 34% below the 3918 in the November 1999 year, which was notable for a pre-America’s Cup flurry, and 12% below the 1998 level.
But in terms of average construction value, 2000 stood up well: an average $85,381 compared to $81,521 in 1999 and $71,560 in 1998.
Look closely at the monthly figures, though, and you find a topsy turvy world: $66,667/unit in the latest figures, compared to $84,342 in November 1999 and $74,059 in November 1998.
In a comparison of monthly figures for 2000, November is just above the cheapest batch, July’s $65,988. The most expensive were in February, at an average of $129,078. The number of apartment applications was low — 129 after two months of 169 each. May had the greatest number of applications for the year, 433, and July was the biggest month in 1999, with 548 applications filed.
Regional, total values
Statistics NZ said 650 dwelling consents were sought for the Auckland region in November, 158 of them in Manukau City and 134 in Rodney District.
In total dollar values, applications were new dwellings in the year to November were worth $2.972 billion compared to $3.522 billion in 1999, and apartments were worth $220 million compared to the previous year’s $319 million. Including alterations, additions and outbuildings, domestic construction for the year to November was worth $3.7 billion ($4.24 billion the year before).
For the month of November, apartments were worth $8.6 million ($16.2 million in October, $23.7 million in November 1999), total dwellings were worth $249 million ($232 million in October, $301 million in November 1999), and total residential building was worth $316 million ($297 million in October, $369 million in November 1999).
Non-residential consents in November were worth $270 million, down from $217 million in October and up on September’s $174 million. Hospitals and nursing homes made up $54 million of the latest tally, offices $53 million, industrial buildings $39 million.
Sample Report #5
Jaffe guilty of fraud and forgery
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|Report Last Edited
|| 21 Mar 2001
79-year-old conman faces jail sentence on 18 May
Eric Isadore Jaffe, aged 79, was convicted tonight on eight of nine charges involving the defrauding of elderly investors in his company.
He will be sentenced on 18 May. Judge Graham Hubble allowed Mr Jaffe out on bail, but said not to take that as an indication of the sentence. The charges allow for jail terms of up to 10 years.
The verdict came after a four-week trial in the Auckland District Court and just over 24 hours of deliberating by the jury.
The one charge in the Serious Fraud Office case which the jury found Mr Jaffe not guilty on was one of not declaring in an offer document that he had been bankrupted from 1980 until 1983.
He was found guilty on seven charges alleging the publication or circulation of a statement or account which he knew was false in a material particular, with intent to induce people to enter into a security for the benefit of his Sydney-incorporated company, Industrial Banking Corp.
Jury finds he forged crucial document
The ninth charge alleged Mr Jaffe forged an IBC minute to show it was written in September 1994 rather than April 1995. The difference in date was crucial to the ability to sell redeemable preference shares Mr Jaffe had in the company.
The charges related to the raising of money for IBC between 1993 and 1996, first through debentures and later through redeemable preference shares (which came due for redemption in 1997 but have not been redeemed).
The basis of company value was claimed to be intellectual property, given a valuation of $A166 million in the company books, but which accountant John Hagen said in the court case could have no value.
A familiar ring
The raising of money in this fashion was similar to Mr Jaffe’s sale of options on shares in 1980, just after he was bankrupted. Then, as now, Mr Jaffe claimed great value for his ideas, held by IBC.
He told a creditors’ meeting in 1980 (which I attended and reported on, to start my coverage of this unfortunately long-drawn-out case of an unscrupulous man determined to live off others’ money): “The company is really me. It is my expertise as far as my concepts are concerned…”
His concepts date back at least to 1966, when he and another “entrepreneur” used the sale of preference shares to finance their companies, enabling them to buy Auckland Business College and Brains Commercial College. Auckland Business College’s 450 students had their enrolments terminated in a company collapse just before their end-of-year exams in 1970.
Others dismissed value of “concepts”
In his bankruptcy, the existence of IBC was acknowledged but the possibility of any value in it was greeted with disbelief by all except Mr Jaffe.
Part of the perceived value was the word “bank” in its name. But when Mr Jaffe began to operate the company in New Zealand in the 90s, the Reserve Bank issued an instruction for the company not to use the word “bank” in its title while operating in New Zealand.
In 1996 the Securities Commission issued a ban on advertising of an $A20 million debenture promotion, deciding a prospectus was required.
Seminars run by Evatt (now in Finland)
By then, investors had paid $2.6 million, mostly following seminars run by a company director found guilt of sharp practice in the 80s, Christopher Gordon Evatt. Mr Evatt’s FMS group of five investment companies and nine partnerships took money from more than 190 superannuitants, teachers and other small investors to put into residential property. The group went into liquidation in 1989. Mr Evatt was found in 1991 to have made secret profits out of property he advised clients to invest in.
Mr Evatt is now in Finland, the court was told this week.
In closing submissions, Mr Jaffe’s lawyer, Roy Ladd, said it was people such as Mr Evatt and Sydney accountant Arthur Forrest (whose audits initially questioned the multi-million-dollar intellectual property valuation, but in 1995 sanctioned it) who should be facing trial.
So unfair, says lawyer Ladd
Mr Ladd spent Friday afternoon telling the jury how unfair it was for Mr Jaffe to be the one on trial. Mr Ladd said the jury should ask if Mr Jaffe was really capable of masterminding the activities of IBC, “or was it more likely more powerful and more devious people who could see profit, trips to faraway places…?
“The one thing that Mr Jaffe is guilty of is trusting the wrong people, such as Forrest, Evatt, letting himself be preyed upon by smarter and sharper people. He has let himself be guided by others. Where are those people today?”
Mr Ladd described Mr Evatt as a “slimy and smooth-talking salesman… a two-timing rogue, a dishonest and a devious person masquerading under the guise of trust and dependability.” Through letters, Mr Evatt made “a carefully contrived and carefully ordered attempt to double-cross Mr Jaffe and lay any responsibility if something goes wrong.”
Mr Jaffe, according to Mr Ladd, was “the fall guy, the patsy.”
Judge corrects impressions
Among the corrections Judge Hubble made to impressions created in court by Mr Ladd, one concerned the Ladd statement that Mr Jaffe didn’t take directors’ fees or remuneration, and that the case was all about Mr Jaffe’s securities being sold, not about the company selling anything.
“But it was the company that owned all the intellectual property,” the judge said. “The money went to Mr Jaffe, then to the company as a loan account.”
Mr Jaffe used the investors’ money to buy four apartments in a block on Ring Tce, overlooking Auckland’s Westhaven marina, where he, his daughter and associates stayed rent-free. The apartments were bought by IBC through a New Zealand-registered company, IBC International Ltd, were sold at mortgagee auction — and bought by Mr Jaffe on behalf of a family trust company. They were subsequently sold to an Asian businessman living near Rotorua, but Mr Jaffe managed to remain a resident.
The New Zealand assets of IBC were placed in liquidation — effectively, the apartments, and eventually the return from them net of an ASB mortgage. That money has been held in court since 1998, with the Jaffe family contesting ownership. The liquidation issue remains unresolved.
Previous Jaffe stories on this website:
Trial date set, background
Depositions hearing, difficulty for anyone to know about Jaffe for years
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