INDEPENDENT NEWS

Winning Company Announced For Key Redevelopment Project In Te Ngākau Civic Square

Published: Thu 11 Apr 2024 02:04 PM
After a rigorous selection process, Wellington City Council has selected Precinct Properties as its preferred developer for the Civic Administration Building (CAB) and Municipal Office Building (MOB) sites in Te Ngākau Civic Square. This decision gives effect to the Council’s longstanding intention to redevelop these sites in partnership with a private developer.
The selection of Precinct Properties confirms the decision to demolish MOB, as this was the basis of its proposal. Once CAB is demolished by the end of 2024 and MOB by the end of 2025, development of a new building can proceed on the two empty sites.
The new five-star green building will activate Te Ngākau by enabling a range of around-the-clock activity including retail, hospitality, co-working, and office space, alongside civic and cultural spaces. It will also provide the front-of-house functions for the Town Hall and any national music centre requirements, while adding to the green space in Te Ngākau.
Mayor Tory Whanau and elected members are being briefed this afternoon on the decision to move forward to negotiation with Precinct Properties.
Mayor Whanau says while the proposed development deal remains subject to extensive negotiations, she is excited about the progress and proposal.
“Today’s news is a huge step forward in our collective work to restore the civic heart of our city.
“As Mayor, I am committed to creating a vibrant city centre that serves our wonderfully diverse communities. The more work we do to revamp our currently under-utilised spaces and attract people and businesses back, the safer and more enjoyable it will be to use.”
Precinct is a highly-regarded NZX listed company that has received acclaim for large-scale projects like Wynyard Quarter and Commercial Bay in Auckland. In keeping with the Council’s Te Ngākau framework, this project will have a strong sustainability focus and will incorporate Te Ao Māori and the perspectives of the Council’s Tākai Here partners.
“The decision to select a private developer means the developer funds and undertakes the redevelopment. This means the City Council avoids the cost and risk of redeveloping the site which we know can be challenging from our experiences with the Town Hall, while still ensuring that key requirements for the site are met,” Mayor Whanau says.
The Council will now enter a period of commercial negotiation with Precinct that is expected to be completed this year, and the key terms of the development agreement will be presented to elected members once finalised. While there is more work to do to develop the details for this deal, the Council is announcing the outcome of the procurement process today to be transparent with the community about intentions for the site.
The opportunity to redevelop a key site in the heart of the city meant the quality of submitted proposals was very high, but Council Chief Operating Officer James Roberts says Precinct Properties’ proposal was exceptional.
“We were very impressed with how they balanced the vision for a civic and cultural space with the reality of the commercial requirements. Add in their team’s impressive track record, and we are confident this project will be a success."
Precinct CEO Scott Pritchard says: “Precinct has been a committed long-term investor in Wellington having developed, owned and managed commercial property here for many years. We are excited about the opportunity to work with Wellington City Council to redevelop the CAB/MOB site, creating a new civic heart and precinct for Wellington. A proposed mixed-use redevelopment on this site aligns with Precinct’s strategy having recently completed Bowen Campus and Willis Lane in Wellington and Commercial Bay in Auckland.”
Today’s announcement adds to the programme of work underway across the Te Ngākau precinct. Councillors were also updated on other live projects, including Te Matapihi Central Library and the Town Hall. Both projects remain within the budgets approved by the Council, with the library on track to be completed by end of 2025 and opened early 2026, and the Town Hall completed in 2027. A master development plan for the precinct is also underway, with a draft plan expected by June.
An announcement on proposed new City Council head-office accommodation in the central city is expected within the next three weeks.
Notes:
The procurement process followed by the Council is in accordance with government rules of sourcing and was confirmed by an independent probity auditor as meeting public sector best-practice. The process included:
· A publicly-available RFP released on Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS)
· Submission of proposals which included concept designs depicting the respondents’ vision for the redeveloped sites and responses to a broad set of functional and commercial requirements
· Individual evaluations in accordance with the RFP’s evaluation criteria, followed by a moderation process
· Stage 2 presentation by shortlisted developer to present proposal
· Process was overseen by an independent probity auditor with assessment report completed
· Recommendation report from the evaluation panel approved by the Senior Responsible Officer.
Previous decisions leading to procurement process:
· Partnering with a private developer to deliver the CAB/MOB site has been an intention of the Council for several years. Previous relevant decisions include:
o December 2020 – agreed that the Council’s preferred option was to demolish MOB and partner with private developer to rebuild and that this would be included in the 2021/31 LTP
o June 2021 – the Council adopted the LTP with MOB demolition retained as the preferred option
o October 2021 – adopted the Te Ngākau Civic Precinct Framework to guide redevelopment in the precinct
o October 2023 – agreed to progress with a procurement process for the redevelopment of the CAB and MOB sites
o November 2023 – agreed to bring forward funding from 2024/25 to 2023/24 to accelerate the demolition of CAB
o December 2023 – procurement process opened.

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