Quality key to Britomart development plans

Published: Fri 25 Oct 2002 12:23 AM
25 October 2002
Quality key to Britomart
property development plans
Proposals for development of some of the most valuable real estate in the country are being sought by the Auckland City Council as part of the Britomart Project’s revitalisation of the downtown area.
The council last night approved a two-stage request for proposals process which will see interested parties submitting proposals next month for development of 17 buildings in the Britomart Precinct and a large vacant development site.
Urban renewal and preservation of heritage buildings are two key elements of the $204 million Britomart Project, and have crucial complementary roles alongside the transport interchange.
Following further consultation, the council will initiate a plan change for the area to ensure that any development will fit with the council’s objectives and the aboveground master plan for the Britomart Project.
Proponents will have to prove their plans will satisfy the council on grounds of suitability and quality of their development, as well as the acceptability of their programme, their financial capability and, finally, price.
The first stage of the two-stage request for proposals (RFP) begins on November 1 and ends on December 18 when interested parties will have submitted the proposals to the council.
An evaluation committee will then select a short-list of proposals by January 31 and those selected will have until March 31 to prepare final and binding proposals.
The proposals will include the overall development plan, price, the development programme and all legal documentation and assurances required by the council.
The evaluation committee will then recommend the preferred proponent to the council for a decision by April 30. Settlement is intended to be by June 30 to coincide with the completion of the Britomart construction contract.
Councillor Douglas Armstrong, chairman of the Finance and Corporate Business
Committee which oversees the Britomart Project, says while the council obviously wants to realise the best possible price for the properties, it will not do so at the risk of sub-standard development.
He noted that a plan change for the area – which restricts the height of buildings to eight-storeys above the station and 12-storeys at the eastern end of the precinct, as well as other guidelines which will ensure quality development – will be put in place to ensure appropriate development.
“The council has drawn a line in the sand over development in this area, in terms of the quality of the development and how it fits in with the master plan,” says Councillor Armstrong.
“This is the front door to the city and it’s got to be done properly. The city is making some financial sacrifice making sure that the whole development is done tastefully for the betterment of the city.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that any development satisfies the vision of the precinct demanded by the city during consultation and the design competition and we will do exactly that.”

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