Archive | Archive – local property

Snapshot on local property, November 2000

Latest: Shuttleworth creditors meet, Tironui passed in, residential consent stats, Eldercare moves focus, Ryman wins award, AMP raises stake, first Chancery outlets open, new Jasmax associates.

30 November 2000

About 20 unsecured trade creditors of Debbie Shuttleworth’s collapsed construction and development company Wise Lass Residential Ltd were told by liquidator Bill Ferguson on their prospects for any financial recovery today: “If you’re preparing annual accounts, you’d be best to tell your accountant a large part is loss and the rest is doubtful. Start preparing a tax loss.” The liquidators, Mr Ferguson and Bernie Montgomerie, were confirmed in their position and a creditors’ committee was formed. Ms Shuttleworth is associated with three-times bankrupt Graeme Raymond, who faces a fraud trial as well as being the director of a string of failed companies. Mr Ferguson said the liquidators were looking closely at possible voidable transactions and company management. On possible fraud, he said: “I have an opinion, but no proof at this stage.”

29 November 2000

Tironui Developments Ltd’s 24-unit business park at Takanini was passed in at a Barfoot & Thompson auction today with a top bid of $1.35 million not accepted by the mortgagee, Reeves Moses Hudig Nominee Co Ltd. The development, by Debbie Shuttleworth, has high-stud warehouse on one half of each 118m² unit and incompleted office and living space on the other, done without resource consent for residential use.

27 November 2000

October residential building consent figures continued the 2000 story of being well below 1999 levels, but on a par with 1998. Figures released by Statistics NZ today show 1585 consents in October 2000 (2117 last year and 1488 the year before). For the year to October, the latest tally is 21,193 consents (last year a phenomenal, over-heated 26,071, the year before 21,191). Alterations and additions boosted the latest monthly figures — $564 million, the best October in five. Apartments made up 12% in number, 7% by value. Average cost of new dwellings was $831/m² for the year (same last year), $815 for the month ($810 last year). Apartments are definitely flats these days: 169 at $95,857 each in October this year (but up from $73,181 each a year earlier), and an average for the year of $85,518 ($80,461).

23 November 2000

Eldercare NZ Ltd’s chief executive, Alan Clarke, and chairman, Maurice Kidd, outlined plans at the annual meeting today to reposition the company in the listed medical/health category, moving the focus from property and retirement villages.

Ryman Healthcare Ltd’s Ngaio Marsh village in Christchurch and Malvina Major village in Wellington have won the company first place in a new Australian aged care housing awards category for best retirement village in New Zealand.

AMP has bumped its interest in Restaurant Brands NZ Ltd up from 21% to 22.04% in the past fortnight.

The Westmark/Mission joint venture’s Chancery development off Freyberg Place in downtown Auckland opened its first retail doors this week, will have 12 open next week and should have another 10 open by Christmas. About half the 4000m² of boutique office space is leased.

JASMAX Architects and Interior Designers has appointed Chris Boss, Marko den Breems, Kendon McGrail, Euan Mac Kellar and its IT systems manager, Geoff Still, as associates.

11 November 2000

Capital Properties NZ Ltd doubled operating revenue, from $14 million to $27.2 million, through the acquisition of Shortland Properties, increased pretax profit 15% to $8.5 million and increased after-tax profit 32% to $7.6 million. Earnings per share rose from 4.82c to 6.34c. Directors expect full-year earnings per share to be less than the 12.7c projected last December, mostly because space has not been leased as quickly as assumed at Shortland takeover time. But the year’s gross dividend, including imputation credits, is still expected to be 11.65cps.

10 November 2000

Auckland City councillors voted 9-8 today in favour of two aspects enabling the council to put up $50 million for an arena next to the city‘s old central railway station. But it wasn’t a confident step forward, with finance & property committee chairman Kay McKelvie pondering whether it was enough of a majority to take into the next stage of negotiations with the three remaining private sector proponents of an arena, Abigroup, Lend Lease and Nationwide Vending Managament. Still, the committee went on behind closed doors to support proceeding with the next phase, which will head towards deciding on a partner next winter.

9 November 2000

Rodney District hearings commissioners Ken Graham and Alan Watson reserved their decision today on an application by Universal Homes Ltd to develop a 294-lot subdivision at Silverdale North, across the old State Highway 1 from the turnoff to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. A neighbour worried about access and services provision for his own future subdivision site left the hearing satisfied that Universal would see him right, leaving only the Auckland Regional Council opposing. And that won some tough questioning from Mr Watson. More on this story later on Friday.

Auckland City councillors accepted a hearings panel decision tonight, canning the Fletcher/Brierley development plans for the Winstone quarry at Mt Wellington. Councillors argued over what they saw as a back-door attempt to win support for the canned Eastern Highway in the advice notes from the panel, which also recommended the council come up with its own zone change for the quarry in place of the private change, which Fletcher Properties and the old Brierley property company, Terra Firma, had been working on for four years.

After a long session filled with self-congratulation and a bit of making up with philosophical enemies, Auckland City councillors gave their consent tonight to the next stage of the Waitemata Waterfront project, which will see a greatly scaled down redevelopment around the Britomart bus terminal, this time centred on the old Chief Post Office. Cllr David Hay, who as deputy mayor in the previous administration was a strong supporter of the grand Britomart scheme canned a year ago, asked how so many people who had expressed concern at that project’s costs could now support a scheme without inquiring about cost. More on both these Auckland City stories later on Friday too.

7 November 2000

Auckland City Council’s winning Waitemata Waterfront development design has been chosen and will now be the basis for future development of the Britomart bus terminal site in downtown Auckland. It will turn the former Chief Post Office on Queen Elizabeth II Square into a transport hub, with access to a rail station two floors underground, bus and light rail stopping around that block and an underground link to the ferry terminal. The winning entry, out of seven finalists, came from US architect Mario Madayag, who teamed up with local firm Jasmax, OMA/AMO Rem Koolhas, Peter Walker & Partners. The announcement comes a year to the day (first Tuesday in November) after the council canned its development agreement with the Britomart group which became part of the Savoy group of companies. (More stories on this subject will appear on this website under Locality/Auckland CBD/Britomart. Click on Report map in left column.)

The Warehouse increased first-quarter sales to 31 October by 16.1% to $353.2 million (including pro forma comparatives for the first three months’ operations by Australian acquisitions Clint’s and Solly’s). Group same-store sales (excluding Clint’s and Solly’s) were up 5.5%. The Warehouse chain recorded an 11.9% increase in sales to $235 million and 4.4% increase in same-store sales, Warehouse Stationery a 46.6% increase in sales to $19.2 million and 23.9% increase in same-store sales. Sales by Clint’s and Solly’s of $A75.4 million ($NZ99 million) represented a 15.8% rise, or 22.2% in $NZ terms, on last year. The group plans three Warehouse openings and one extension this month, three Warehouse Stationery openings by the end of December, and two large-format Clint’s and Solly’s in December. The whole group has 444,000m² of retail space in 215 stores.

3 November 2000

Cereus Holdings, a conduit for Singapore investments into property and forestry in New Zealand, headed by Vino Ramayah, has decided not to proceed with its takeover of Roller International, whose listing was suspended after the bid was announced.

AMP Henderson Global Investors has bought the Manukau Supa Centa and neighbouring properties from Jonmer Projects for just under $40 million. Property head Anthony Beverley said a major attraction was the ability to expand . The centre’s 26,000m² contains 17 large-format stores, four foodcourt operators and some office space.

Waltus has discontinued its appeal against the Securities Commission’s decision to prohibit distribution of offer documents of Waltus Property Finance Ltd for secured debenture stock. The prospectus was cancelled on 29 August. Waltus gave notice of its appeal two days later and filed papers in the High Court on 16 October, but discontinued the appeal yesterday, the Securities Commission’s senior operations executive, Norman Miller, said.

A 1000m², three-storey mansion in Arney Crescent, Remuera, has sold for more than $5 million, and is one of 13 $1 million-plus homes in the eastern suburbs sold by Barfoot & Thompson in October. This house, sold by Stanley and Barbara Armon of the firm’s Epsom branch before closing of a tender, was designed by Lawrence Sumich in a Hawaiian resort style and attracted eight serious buyers.

North Shore City Council will notify a variation to its proposed district plan on 15 December, which is aimed at reducing the flow-on effects of development on stormwater. Submissions will close on 2 March 2001, with a public hearing in June before a final decision is made. Cllr Guy Cornish said the council wanted better subdivision management to deal with flooding, pollution and environmental degradation.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 1 April 2001

Latest: Kiwi Income offer value unchanged.

29 March 2001

Kiwi Income Property Trust, seeking to complete the takeover of Kiwi Development Trust by compulsory acquisition, has secured an update report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which prepared the January appraisal showing the value range of the Kiwi Income units being offered at 85-90c, and the value range of the consideration at $2.60-2.75. The accountants found no material value change.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 27 January 2002

26 January 2002

Auckland International Airport Ltd is seeking proposals for a number of its retail licences which expire this year. The specialty outlets are made available under operating licences.

Construction of Sky City Entertainment Group’s fourth property, in Hamilton, is progressing well – on time and to schedule. The framework for the ground & casino levels of the entertainment complex is in place and exterior cladding of the building, using pre-cast concrete, continues while the entertainment level above the casino is underway. The raw construction of the four-level basement car park, comprising eight split levels, has been completed, so the heavy digging equipment that had been in place since construction resumed in February last year has now gone. The building is due for completion in August 2002, with the official opening in September.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 29 June 2003

24 June 2003

The National Property Trust now holds 97.7% of the Newmarket Property Trust after settling with St Laurence Property & Finance Ltd, which sold 6.8 million units at 57c and took 4.4 million National units at 88c. Those new National units, not eligible for distributions for the May 2003 year, were then placed with institutions. Grant Samuel will provide a report on compulsory acquisition for remaining Newmarket unitholders, whose stock is no longer listed.

Tasman Orient is the 1st shipping line to commit to Ports of Auckland’s inland port facility at Otahuhu. Import containers are transferred to the inland port outside normal work hours, which also frees wharf space for the line’s multi-purpose vessels to unload non-containerised cargoes. Ports of Auckland’s 1st inland port was established at East Tamaki, and the 3rd is being developed at Wiri. Tasman Orient Line is the leading independent multi-purpose liner shipping service linking New Zealand and Asia. The Otahuhu site is on land leased by Sky Group, which operates container facilities at Port Klang in Malaysia. Sky Group provides transport, cargo-handling & site management services at Otahuhu.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 12 May 2002

12 May 2002

The Securities Commission on Friday banned Money Managers Ltd (Doug Somers-Edgar) from offering interests in contributory mortgages to the public for subscription for 12 months, following the commission’s inquiry into the mortgage over Brent Clode’s 1 Parliament St development. The commission concluded Money Managers acted as a contributory mortgage broker for that mortgage, so breached the contributory mortgage regulations by not being registered.

Air New Zealand Ltd has sold its 3 South Island ski areas — Coronet Peak, the Remarkables & Mt Hutt, collectively known as nzski.com — to Southern Alpine Resort Recreation Ltd for $27 million. The airline has entered into a long-term marketing agreement with the new owner, which is a joint venture between Australasian Alpine Ltd (nzski.com’s senior management plus Graham Smolenski of Millbrook Resort), Tourism Milford Ltd (owner & operator of the Milford Track guided walk and The Hermitage Hotel at Mt Cook) and Trojan Holdings Ltd, a Queenstown-based enterprise with diverse interests in tourism (Routeburn Guided Walk Ltd), transport & resort property development.

10 May 2002

Securities Commission chairman Jane Diplock sounded like: If a ball’s there, kick it. She was in a meeting when I called about banning Dominion Funds’ ad for its Harbourside fund “because they are confusing.” Dominion Funds managing director Paul Duffy had told me the commission was concerned about the font size of the statement, “$7.89 pa per $100 invested,” which Ms Diplock said could lead an investor to think was equal to a 7.89% return, so the company had changed the font size. The font size, not the content? Yep. I asked Ms Diplock why the commission was taking this action now, when Dominion had been doing the same thing for several years. “This matter was brought to our attention and we took action,” she said. She heard my question and chose the pursy-lipped version of an answer. Her answer was nonsense. I asked no more questions, but I will write about the commission’s approach to a couple of issues concerning Money Managers, the 1 Parliament St loans and the way securities law is run.

6 May 2002

Housing Minister Mark Gosche has introduced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give more protection to boardinghouse tenants and toughen the Government’s approach to landlords of substandard houses. Landlord who don’t upgrade substandard houses can be ordered to pay up to $3000 exemplary damages.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 7 October 2001

5 October 2001

AMP NZ Office Trust has secured international property services company Jones Lang LaSalle as tenant of the 16th floor of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Tower on Quay St, taking leasing commitments for the tower to 71%. It’s due for completion next May, and will increase the trust’s portfolio value by $170 million to $563 million. The trust is managed by AMP Henderson Global Investors, but Jones Lang LaSalle Management Services will manage the tower for it. Jones Lang LaSalle managing director Don Harrington said it was a hard decision to move from the 10-year-old ASB Bank Centre, which was still an excellent building. “The market has recognised this in that ASB Bank already has a tenant in advanced negotiations to commit to our current premises when our lease expires,” he said. Jones Lang LaSalle will take 925m², less space than it has now, but will take on seven more staff to service the ANZ Bank property/facility management contract it won recently.

Associate Commerce Minister Laila Harré said residential building wasn’t excluded from the Construction Contracts Bill, as suggested in a newspaper report, but application of the bill to a contract between a residential occupier and their head contractor would be limited. She said its application to the contract between contractor and subcontractor would not be limited.

Auckland City Council received $8.745 million in developer reserve contributions in the year to June, but another $8 million is subject to Environment Court appeals. The council’s planning & regulatory committee decided last month to publish contribution totals by ward every six months in its newspaper, City Scene.

Auckland City Council’s smart city governing committee has adopted a residential design guide in response to concerns that intensification would lead to loss of amenity. Committee chairman Bruce Hucker said sub-standard, medium-density housing projects would be very damaging to the residents of any area and a very foolish venture from the council’s standpoint. The guide relates specifically to residential areas within Auckland isthmus strategic growth management areas and promotes energy efficiency, alternative stormwater management and best-practice building design. Changes to incorporate parts of the guide into the district plan will be initiated early next year.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 26 May 2002

24 May 2002

Auckland City Council has settled a dispute with Waitemata Infrastructure Ltd (Peter Evans & former Harrison Grierson Consultants Ltd director Graham Jull) over the ability to charge & user rights at the upper half of the 2 free carparks above Waiheke Island’s Matiatia ferry wharf. The council will surrender its lease, and Waitemata Infrastructure will introduce charges at the top half of the parking area. The council-owned bottom half will remain free, and the council also intends establishing a parking area on land it owns further up Ocean View Rd. The agreement will enable Waitemata Infrastructure to proceed with a private plan change for its proposed development.

Auckland City Council has decided not to review a decision made in February to lend the Eden Park Trust Board $2 million for an upgrade, though the park will no longer host World Cup rugby matches. The council’s finance & corporate business committee gave approval for the board to redraw money paid back under the terms of the council’s $10 million loan set up in 1999. The board asked for the additional funds to put towards to the $4 million cost of reconstructing the main field. “Auckland City has a responsibility to ensure that we have sporting venues of an international standard if we are to compete with other New Zealand venues and internationally,” committee chairman Doug Armstrong said.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 12 October 2003

7 October 2003

An Auckland City homeowner who chopped down a 14m Himalayan cedar – after resource consent to remove it had been refused — has been fined $2500. Warren Adler, of Auckland City Environments, said the council declined consent to remove the tree in December 2000 but it was cut back to a 4m stump in October 2002. Consent is required to do anything to trees taller than 8m with a girth greater than 800mm.

TranzRail Holdings Ltd signed a final agreement today to sell Wellington Railway Station to the Government & NZ Railways Corp for $8 million. TranzRail retains the platforms & concourse under its core lease and will lease much of the building long-term. Victoria University signed an agreement today to lease 560m² of the building.

Holders of just under 3 million of Urbus Properties Ltd’s 95.4 million convertible notes opted to convert on the 6-monthly conversion date (5 October). The notes were issued at 92c and are trading at 88c. The ordinary shares are trading at 90c and the new ordinary shares, which don’t attract an interim dividend, are at 84c. The notes paid an interim 2.1c/note interest. Urbus has been paying 4.5c/share half-yearly dividends on its ordinary shares. The September half dividend announcement is due in November.

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Snapshot on local property to July 2000

The SNAPSHOTS series is designed to keep you abreast of events without providing much detail. This series is organised into property and more general business news, locally and internationally.

28 July 2000

Sky City closed its $150 million capital notes issue today, $50 million oversubscribed.

Calan Healthcare Properties Trust has declared a fourth-quarter gross distribution of 1.3324c/unit, with impiutation credits of 0.4397c, lower than hoped because of holding costs on projects yet to start, due diligence on an Australian venture not turning into a transaction and loss on disposal of a small asset.

Guardian Trust Funds Management wants to bring the Strand Arcade, between Queen and Elliott Sts, back to its former glory, starting with refurbishment of the lower two 1054m² office floors, vacated by Farmers Deka. The Guardian Property Fund bought the arcade in 1994. It has four office levels, the top two occupied by Waikato University, the ground-level arcade and two-restaurant basement. A suspended ceiling system hid the ornate original architectural detail, which has been revealed in architects Jessop Townsend’s refurbishment work.

Graeme Hinton’s application for resource consent for a seven-storey commercial and 22-apartment building on Florence Ave, Orewa, will be heard next Friday, 4 August. His original quest was for a 10-storey building. The hearing coincides with Rodney District Council’s release of its report on building height and density options for the Orewa town centre. The 27 submissions break up into 12 supporting intensification and taller buildings, seven opposing taller buildings, three opposing those of 10 storeys but comfort with 4-6 storeys, and five neutral. Rodney’s principal planning commissioner, Ken Graham, will formally receive the report on Thursday. More work will be done on it for inclusion in the district plan at the end of the year.

The application by the family trusts of Takapuna law firm partners Chris Western and Gary Simpson to demolish their two-storey premises on The Strand and replace it with a five-storey building containing four two-level apartments, the top two to be retained by the trusts, will be heard by independent commissioners next Thursday, 3 August. Of the 54 submissions, one was neutral and the rest opposed. The 651m² site is zoned business 3A now and commercial 3A in the transitional Takapuna district plan. It is bounded on three sides by the reserve above Takapuna Beach.

The Warehouse is selling its 5700m² New Plymouth store on a 10-year leaseback, plus six specialty shops. The complex on Devon St was built last year to replace a smaller store. Rent totals $892,000. Recent Warehouse sales include Petone for $6.9 million and Petone Warehouse Stationery for $1.9 million. St Laurence Group bought its Albany Mega Centre store last December for $10.33 million. Colliers Jardine is seeking expressions of interest for the New Plymouth complex by 31 August.

“A year ago the difference between the variable rate and the five year fixed rate was 230 basis points. Now it has narrowed to 10 points. Have interest rates peaked?” Cairns Lockie says in its fortnightly mortgage commentary (see the firm’s full commentary on External links/Loans/Cairns Lockie). It also suggests house prices could rise again through to 2002, in a cyclical move, but warns that previous house price peaks have been preceded by a period of inflation.

The Devonport Community Board wants local input to a structure plan for the 5ha of land around the Bayswater marina, owned by the Crown and North Shore City Council, including the historic and new reclamations next to the marina and northern reclamation north of the Takapuna Boating Club. The recently reclaimed land still has to be zoned. Community board chairman Paddy Stafford-Bush said options should be put to the community next March for a final plan to be put in place next May. Bayswater Marina is seeking resource consent for development of a marine village on its site.

27 July 2000

Rodney District Council is close to resolution of its drawn-out plan change 62 dispute with developers. The plan change, formally introducing a scale of financial contributions to the council for infrastructure and subdivision work, has been preceded informally by a system of “voluntary contributions” not always willingly paid and subject to one Environment Court hearing where granting of a resource consent is alleged to have depended on the contribution being made. Rodney’s principal planning commissioner, Ken Graham, said agreeement was reached between the council and developers yesterday on the methodology to be used. “We’re now drawing up a consent order to be lodged in the Environment Court,” he said. The plan change will have a national impact.

Rodney District’s commissioner, Grant Kirby, wants the council to look again at the legality of refunding rates to Whangaparaoa residents who were billed three years ago for a park-and-ride facility which is now on hold and may not be created for five years. A staff report said the best option (for the council) was to hold the $400,000 collected, earning interest until the project began, which had been done before. The Rating Powers Act did not allow the money to be used for other works and the act made no provision for a refund unless the money was incorrectly levied. Mr Kirby also said at his monthly meeting today he had delegated authority to deal with the numerous consents where the council is asked to okay minor works being carried out by neighbours, instead of having them come before him once a month.

25 July 2000

Capital Properties chairman Colin Beyer acknowledged the baying critics who opposed a 25% rise in directors’ fees to $150,000 by announcing at the start of today’s annual meeting in Wellington that the motion would be withdrawn.

24 July 2000

North Shore City councillors/hearings commissioners considering rezoning of the Albany centre expansion zone have adjourned a third time and will resume their deliberations on 15 August, when they hope to be able to form their decision.

22 July 2000

Auckland City Council’s application for a lesser Britomart earthworks resource consent was advertised today by the Auckland Regional Council. Submissions on the excavation and dewatering consent applications will close with the regional council on Friday 18 August. The city council won a hard-fought consent on 7 May 1999 from Principal Environment Judge David Sheppard to undertake 900,000m³ of earthworks for the Britomart project which, after a change of council at the end of 1998, the new council no longer wanted. Savoy Group is still working towards suing the council for cancellation of that project, which would have gone five levels unerground and had 11 above-ground development footprints. The new consent application is for 165,000m³ to be removed from a 1.8ha site.

21 July 2000

Rodney District Council’s application for resource consents relating to the proposal for a toll bridge across the Weiti River, linking the Whangaparaoa Peninsula through the Stillwater district to East Coast Rd at the Weiti Station entrance and on to the Northern Motorway extension, will be heard by the Auckland Regional Council from Thursday 17 August, continuing the following day and from Tuesday to Friday the next week.

Trans Tasman Properties has canned its Fort-Shortland St office tower for the moment and is considering other options for the site, including the possibility of a shorter building in a year or two. AMP NZ Office Trust is the immediate most likely beneficiary because law firm Simpson Grierson was talking to both parties about tenancy, but there’s no guarantee the lawyers will go down to the waterfront. Their lease (in the Albert St block of the Finance Plaza complex, owned by Trans Tasman) has been extended to 2005, giving both Simpson Grierson and Trans Tasman the flexibility AMP won’t appreciate.

Property For Industry increased total operating revenue by 6.13% to $9.1 million ($8.6 million) in the June half-year, raised its operating surplus before unusual items and tax by 5.42% to $6 million ($5.7 million) and its after-tax surplus 5.31% to $4.881 million ($4.635 million). But earnings a share fell 11.94% to 2.73c (3.1c). PFI will pay a 1.3cps interim dividend, carrying 0.3cps imputation credit, taking total dividends for the six months to 2.6cps. The company now has 41 properties worth $192 million, with an average weighted lease term of 7.7 years.

20 July 2000

The Ministry of Defence has applied to the High Court to have nearly $4 million in rates refunded after last year’s decision turning the Navy’s 11ha Tamaki base at Devonport into reserve land, but North Shore City’s deputy mayor, Dianne Hale, said today the claim was a case of sour grapes. The previous government had announced its intention to sell the land for residential development. Cllr Hale said the land was rateable because it was always deemed to have been used for “business” purposes. The council has spent $70,000 in legal fees to secure the base as a park — by comparison, Cllr Hale said the $4 million claim due to go to court on 10 August was almost as much as a year’s rates from the whole of Northcote.

North Shore and Waitakere City Council have agreed to merge their works and maintenance businesses, NSM Contracting Ltd and Eco Works Ltd, with NSM’s Albany base as home to the 50:50 joint venture. The new company, Techscape Ltd, will have shareholders’ funds of $6 million, 280 staff and be the largest water maintenance company in New Zealand.

19 July 2000

Completion of the second instalment on Capital Properties’ shares has left the Crown with just 1.18% of the business it owned in its entirety before the float in 1998. The Crown got out of what was the main portfolio of Government Property Services by offering $1 shares in two instalments, at the highly attractive returns of 22.5% annualised in the first year and 23.1% to March 2000 for small investors who stayed with it. Others had to pay 57c on the second instalment.

North Shore City councillors will resume their hearing on a variation to the Albany town centre expansion zone next Monday, 21 July, in a third session which they hope will bring a decision on the form expansion can take. The three councillors heard submissions on Variation 53 on 27 and 28 June and met again last Thursday to get a presentation on extra information they required. Submissions on Variation 61, fixing a reference to residential development in this zone to make it a non-complying instead activity instead of one permitted as of right, closed on Monday. A hearing on that aspect is not likely until late September. Related issues will come before the Environment Court on 7 August.

Residents of Papakura’s Hingaia district are heading on a similar track to those in Takanini as they examine the future of their district with potentially 10,000 residents in a greenfields urban zone, replacing the green fields of the present, dominated by small holdings with a few larger farms. Urban planning consultant Chris van Tonder, leading the charrette process, said it was taken as fact that Hingaia, on a peninsula between the Pahurehure Inlet and Drury Creek, and on the western side of the Southern Motorway, would be incorporated within Auckland’s metropolitan urban limits. The first of the four workshops was on 11 July and the last will be on 1 August.

Manson Developments has appealed to the Environment Court over North Shore City Council’s rejection of resource consent for the last block of apartments planned for the Mon Desir site fronting Takapuna Beach. The council has not set out reasons for its refusal, or the details of the legal recommendation hearing commissioners received before making their decision, and Manson director Ted Manson said letters the company had sent requesting reasons had won responses declining to comply with the company request. “I’m going to the Ombudsman to make them change their mind [on the reasons]. I need reasons [to appeal],” he said.

A part-developed Waiuku subdivision taken to mortgagee auction by Reeves Moses Hudig Mortgage Nominee Co was passed in today when bidding stopped at $800,000. Wise Lass Residential Ltd, headed by Debbie Shuttleworth, bought the 8808m² of land, down a right-of-way off Constable Rd, for $237,000 at the end of 1998 and borrowed $1.2 million in two tranches from Reeves Moses. There were three bidders for the abandoned project, which has eight finished three-bedroom townhouses, one house, and the floor slabs and services laid for six more townhouses.

Residential developers David Winstone and Chris Morton have appealed to the Environment Court after North Shore City hearing commissioners granted resource consent to their company, O’Neill Properties Ltd, for a 19-unit project overlooking Lake Pupuke at 258 Hurstmere Rd which combined terraced and townhouses, but lopped the two bottom units off the plan. “We’re probably going to have discussions with them,” Mr Morton said. Meanwhile the developers were doing the numbers on a project reduced from 19 to 17 units. “I feel there’s a solution somewhere there,” he said.

Auckland mayor Christine Fletcher gave a heart-warming account to a Hesketh Henry law firm breakfast for property industry participants today, of how the new-style approach to redeveloping the Waitemata Waterfront out of the previous Britomart project would create a better downtown environment, and how the work with other local bodies on improving public transport round the region and through Britomart would ease overall congestion. She left one questioner (and me) puzzled about how the public design competition fitted in with planning for transport needs — that you might be designing a garage without knowing what mode of transport was to go in it. But the mayor, and city planning manager John Duthie, said afterwards an agreement with Tranz Rail on transfer of urban rail corridors to Auckland local bodies for new public transport uses was due to be signed at the end of September, a week before the second stage of the design competition close, so the availability of transport routes would be known and could be tied in to designs. The whole competition is due to wrap up in November.

One member of the Hesketh Henry breakfast audience listening to Auckland mayor Christine Fletcher outline the end of Britomart and birth of Waitemata Waterfront was very careful to bite his lip during the presentation today — Savoy Equities director Kerry Haycock, who is still working on a $100 million-plus lawsuit against the council for canning the project. Savoy is the parent company of previously listed Pacific Capital, which was to have undertaken the project through Britomart subsidiaries. Mr Haycock said afterwards the suit is still being prepared. While the company works on the launch of its Hyatt Residences apartment project — where the top-flight units have been first to go — ex-Brierley Investments pr man Mike Drogemuller has been working with Savoy on the timing of the legal action and release of details.

Axis Property Group, headed by Greg Wilkinson, is the buyer of a portfolio of six properties which Trans Tasman Properties has sold for $30 million. Trans Tasman revealed few details in its Tuesday announcement. Leasing manager Bruce Catley said today he could not rank the sale prices against book value because the deal was done as a batch. Also complicating the issue was that “we have another deal on the go with them offsetting it.” The second deal was “a few months away” and he could not reveal anything about it. The three Auckland properties sold are 115 Queen St, the former Whitcoulls building at 91-95 Mt Eden Rd, the Fujitsu Centre on Khyber Pass Rd. Three retail buildings in Christchurch in the package are the Shades Atrium, Shades II and the old Weekly Press buildings in Cashel St.

Trans Tasman Properties is not out of the running to start a new office tower between Fort and Shortland Sts in the Auckland cbd, but has a tough fight to sign up the 70% financial (not space) precommitment it needs to start work while AMP is chasing the same targets. Leasing manager Bruce Catley said there were “plenty of rumours and speculation out there,” and denied one rumour that Trans Tasman was under a month’s notice from its proposed anchor tenant, law firm Simpson Grierson, to make a decision on starting. Acknowledging that AMP is also chasing Simpson Grierson, he said: “We’ve never been given any ultimatum. That’s not Simpson Grierson’s style.” With the law firm in, an arrangement on parking, signage and naming rights in place, TTP would have about 60% of the required financial commitment.

Waltus Investments’ prospectus and investment statement on the proposal to merge 19 of its early syndicates into a single entity is expected to be available at the end of next week, director Shayne Hodge said today. “We’re just waiting for registration and printing of the document.” The proposal has been taken past all the intermediaries, mainly financial planners and fund managers, over the past three months and “they will all be coming out unanimously supporting the proposed merger.”

Auckland University won approval today to proceed with the second stage of its project to convert the old brick 1YA building at the top of Shortland St for use by the School of Creative and Performing Arts. The first stage has been completed — removal of rubbish, which unfortunately included “accidental” demolition of a feature in one of the toilets. Members of Auckland City Council’s planning fixtures sub-committee were concerned about that, but were assured controls would be put in place to ensure only authorised work would be carried out in the second stage, which includes removing unwanted late additions to the exterior. The refurbishment has gone through as a non-notified resource consent, but has gone under the microscopes of council heritage planners and the Historic Places Trust. It’s listed with the trust and on the city’s category A heritage list. The university paid $2.7 million in December for the building, which was opened as a radio station in 1935 and converted to TV studios in 1960.

Sale of the 1964ha Wyangala Station, 60km south-west of Gisborne, for $2.65 million ($1349/ha) shows forestry is still demanding a place in the market, despite a quieter three years since the Asian financial crisis cut interest in logs. The station was put up for sale by a syndicate who operated it for 25 years under management as a breeding and finishing cattle and sheep farm. It’s been running just under 15,000 stock units. James MacPherson, of Bayleys’ Gisborne office, said today a New Zealand forestry group would start a forestry plantation programme on the station next year. Bayleys Research has found a distinct shortage of large pastoral blocks available in the area, and strong demand from established investment companies, private investors around New Zealand and from overseas for suitable forestry blocks.

The 4.7ha Heinz Watties plant on the Gisborne waterfront, earmarked for a hotel when the Gisborne District Council bought it two years ago, is being taken to international tender by Bayleys, closing on 17 August. A woolstore was built on the site in 1910 and J Wattie Canneries opened a canning factory there in 1952. David Hall, of Bayleys in Gisborne, says the harbour views, short walk to both the city centre and surf beach would make it attractive for a retirement village, housing development, conference centre or other tourism use.

13 July 2000

Cairns Lockie, a specialist in residential and residential investment lending, is cutting all its fixed rates from tomorrow following recent falls in fixed rates and the downward move in longer dated wholesale rates. The two-year fixed rate falls 20 points to 8.35%, three-year 25 points to 8.45% and five-year 19 points to 8.6%. The company’s floating rate is unchanged at 8.35%.

11 July 2000

AMP Property Fund has sold 2.4% of the listed AMP NZ Office Trust this year, cutting its interest from 30.23% to 27.83%.

Control of New Zealand-listed McConnell Dowell Corporation is changing hands again. Formed by Auckland engineers Jim Dowell and the late Buck McConnell, MacDow was a significant New Zealand company in the 80s and still has a role here. It was held by American interests for most of the 90s. South African conglomerate Anglo American bought the 63.8% controlling interest last year through a construction subsidiary, LTA. Anglo announced in Johannesburg yesterday that it had agreed to sell its 68% of LTA to another listed South African construction company, Aveng.

6 July 2000

Brent Clode has gained resource consent for his Terraces on Main project on the Onehunga Mall, which will contain 95 apartments and about 2200m² of retail. The proposal went before Auckland City planning commissioners on Monday.

4 July 2000

Taradale Properties has sold 18 of the 80 townhouses and villas it plans to build at Marama Point, on the 4ha site of the caravan park beside the Ohau Channel, which runs between Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti. Ernst & Young has done investment calculations for the project, including one showing a 14.1% return on investment in a three-bedroom unit, based on a $260,000 unit, 10% deposit, 9% mortgage interest rate, 42% occupancy and tariff of $145/night.

WestpacTrust will take 33 of its branches to auction in the first week of August. Two are in Auckland — the branches at Great South Rd, Penrose, and Karangahape Rd — but if the experience of previous bank branch auctions is an indication, it will be the small country offices that attract most attention. Michael Judd of Colliers Jardine, who took the BNZ’s portfolio of country branches to a series of auctions, is also handling this one. The auctions will be held at the Centra Hotel in Auckland on Tuesday 2 August, and the Parkroyals in Wellington and Christchurch on the next two days.

29 June 2000

Awards for round one of Auckland City Council’s Waitemata waterfront development design competition (the successor to the Britomart project) will be made at the old CPO on QEII Square at 6pm today. The 153 entries are on display in the former post office’s main chamber.

27 June 2000

Armstrong Jones issued substantial security holder notices today, saying it has 10.11% of Property For Industry and 7.74% of Kiwi Income Property Trust.

North Shore commissioners will complete their hearing tomorrow on district plan proposed variation 53, concerning the Albany centre expansion zone. Landowner Neil Developments wants changes to enable it more flexibility for developing and tenanting its 27ha, Westfield/St Lukes Group want to stop the opportunity for a retail zone competing equally with their proposed town centre, and the Minister for the Environment says the variation conflicts with the regional growth strategy, which the city’s mayor signed up to support last December.

Auckland City’s councillors have taken some of the recent criticism over resource consent procedures to heart. The council has now put a statement on its own website (External links/Local government/Auckland City Council) to explain the rules on urban design, central area planning procedures and applying for a resource consent.

Cornerstone Group’s proposal for a 40-unit comprehensively designed multiple household development at 282 Hibiscus Coast Highway, the old main road through Orewa, has been put to public submissions by the Rodney District Council. Submissions will close on 24 July.

Richina Pacific has announced the letting of two floors (2000m²) of Mobil on the Park in Wellington to Lucent Technologies, and the option for Lucent to take a third floor. Lucent’s lease is for three years with two three-yeqar rights of renewal. Richina chief executive said this lease and option, plus completion of negotiations on the fourth floor, would make the building fully leased. He said the Lucent lease was at “market rate for superior space.”

24 June 2000

Property For Industry has bought a $7.13 million Mt Wellington property on a 15-year leaseback to Brambles subsidiary Recall Total Information Management, taking to 12 sale-and-leaseback transactions PFI has completed, worth $50 million. General manager Peter Alexander said this deal gave a 9.05% initial yield, with Recall’s rent rising in agreed steps every three years. The PFI portfolio now totals 41 properties valued at $192 million. The average weighted lease term has been raised from 7.5 to 7.7 years.

21 June 2000

Consents for new housing picked up in May to 2055 consents for the month (2377 last year and 1637 the year before), after a big dip in April to 1405, according to Statistics NZ. The consent level ran above 2000 for 10 consecutive months last year, peaking at 2633 in September.

Colliers Jardine’s director of international sales, John Goddard, was named the Real Estate Institute of NZ’s commercial and industrial salesperson of the year on Monday. Mr Goddard also won this title in 1997 and has been Colliers Jardine’s top revenue broker since 1995.

19 June 2000

The Environment Court has ruled in favour of North Shore City Council and against Richard Kroon’s Anzani Investments over plans for a 15m-high building overlooking the beach reserve in Browns Bay. Mr Kroon claimed his plans were within as-of-right limits. The court has ruled it should be dealt with as discretionary or non-complying activity, and that is should also comply with Variation 20, reducing the height limit to 9m.

Property law specialists Knight Coldicutt moved from Newmarket Broadway to Princes Wharf today. The firm has taken ground-floor space in Shed 20. The next shed along, Shed 21, containing the Hilton Hotel and developer David Henderson’s private pad at the top, was topped off last week by Hartner Construction.

Across the back of the new Botany town centre and Sacramento medium-density residential development, the mayor of Manukau, Sir Barry Curtis, planted an oak tree on Friday to launch the 500-unit Dannemora retirement village, which will offer both licence-to-occupy and unit-title residency.

16 June 2000

Auckland City Council’s planning & regulatory committee stopped short of a total ban on pavement sandwich boards at its meeting today, preferring to go for further consultation and look at the issue again in August. At that time, a ban is likely. The committee also wants to tidy up Auckland’s billboards, but again opted for further consultation and an August report back.

9 June 2000

Bankrupt propert developer Graeme Raymond will face a one-day depositions hearing in the Auckland Court on 18 August, on five charges laid by the Ministry of Commerce (now the Ministry of Economic Development). Raymond, 37, has been charged with perjury, making a false statement, contributing to his insolvency by gambling and extravagant living, concealing property and making misleading statements to the Official Assignee.

7 June 2000

Trans Tasman Properties has done a trade to get 2.2ha of Western Viaduct development land, two tracts between Halsey and Beaumont Sts with frontages to Fanshawe and Gaunt Sts. On the other side of the ledger, Jamie Peters’ Starline Group gets the Deka building in Hamilton and Eagle Technology House on Willis St, Wellington.

2 June 2000

Colonial First State Property Trust earned $8.55 million in the 10 months to March after writing down the portfolio by 1.73%, and is paying unitholders an annualised 10.45%, compared to the prospectus forecast of 10.3%.

1 June 2000

Taradale Properties has appointed Craig Stevenson as its general manager, after six years as company accountant. Mr Stevenson was previously at KMG Kendons and the Chelsea sugar refinery. Taradale is headed by Tim Manning, who established it 12 years ago. It is developing the 220-unit Sacramento condominium project at Botany Downs and launched an 80-lodge project at Lake Rotoiti a few weeks ago.

AMP has sold the six-storey Opus Building, on the corner of Harwood and Princes Sts in central Hamilton, for $2.28 million as part of a rationalisation of its smaller property holdings. With one level vacant, current annual net rent of $260,584 puts the sale on an 11.4% yield. The property was sold at a Bayleys auction today. Other sales included an 8000m² industrial site in Ohaupo Rd, Te Awamutu, with showroom and office building plus storage shed, sold with vacant possession for $300,000, and a Higgins Rd industrial property in Hamilton, leased to scaffolding company Acrow until 2003, sold for $196,000 on an 11.7% yield.

31 May 2000

Westfield Trust has proposed a full takeover of shopping centre owner St Lukes Group at $1.70 for both the shares and notes. Westfield Trust owns 46.4% already and a Westfield Holdings subsidiary manages St Lukes. A shareholder meeting will be held in July to consider the offer.

Savoy Equities said today it should have produced a report for the transitional period to 31 December 1999 after changing its balance date from August, but had delayed this because it considering redemption of the redeemable shares. An audit certificate would not be issued until that was resolved.

Justice Chambers ended a three-day High Court session on Auckland Regional Council appeals over two rural subdivision applications, one a coastal proposal for 14 lots above the south end of Pakiri Beach and the other for five lots at Kumeu, with three reserved decisions. Two of those decisions were on the appeals and the third was on an application for judicial review of the Environment Court’s consent to the Pakiri proposal.

The Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board’s application to build an 80-unit retirement village at Te Arawa St, Orakei, will go before three commissioners. The chairman of Auckland City Council’s planning fixtures sub-committee, Juliet Yates, excluded herself from the task because she was a member of the reserves board. The Maori trust board wants to build 60 units in six apartment buildings and 20 townhouses in three blocks, 28 of them with one bedroom, the rest with two, and four with a study, on a 40ha site above the Orakei marae. The board filed its application last September and has 82 submissions against it, 42 in support.

Fletcher and Brierley’s Lake Park project in the 105ha Winstone quarry at Mt Wellington has run into a fresh obstacle — a 1998 subdivision consent the companies’ joint venture could not show existed, and which Auckland City Council could not find documentation for. The application is now on its way through the notified hearings procedure. The developers also have a private plan change application in the public forum, with cross-submissions closing on 28 June.

Aquita Developments Ltd, owned by earthmoving business operator Allan Blackmore, wants to establish a clean fill operation with a 250,000m³ capacity in a disused quarry on Blackbridge Rd, Dairy Flat. Rodney District Council is taking submissions until 30 June.

Trans Tasman Properties wants to turn itself into a more robust, active trader than the passive, struggling beast it has become. Shareholders were told in the annual report and against at this week’s annual meeting to expect both Trans Tasman and Australian Growth Properties to look outside the cbd, to trade and to develop where capital value can be added. Its Sydney development, 363 George St, is more than 70% leased, it wants that level of commitment befor

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