Here's the full story about that Chews Lane development, looks like it might only go to 60 or so metres..
from Wellington City COuncil website, www.wcc.govt.nz
$12.5 Million Deal Struck on Sale of Chews Lane
Wellington City Council today announced the $12.5 million sale of the Chews Lane precinct by way of a 250 year lease. The precinct comprises commercial buildings between Victoria and Willis Streets intersected by Chews Lane, to Willis Bond & Co Ltd.
Deputy Mayor Alick Shaw says the sale is a brilliant result that the city can be very proud of. "This is not just about money it's going to make that part of the city and the area around Civic Square more inviting, more exciting and much more lively.
"Given the constraints placed on the use of the site and our concerns about maintaining the heritage of the area and views, the sale price of $12.5 million is an extremely good result. Another important factor is that work on this site can start as soon as possible and is due to be completed within five years. We've all seen the consequences of crucial development sites left to languish for years.
"We've spent a lot of time on the sale process including extensive public consultation in 2003, but it has been important to get this right."
Features of the deal include:
a 250 year lease
$12.5 million sale price
exceeds heritage expectations outlined in the Urban Design Brief
provides a high level of confidence for the Council that the proposal will be successfully completed
is architecturally very exciting solution, adding new architectural creativity to the city
an interesting new building on Zeal site
the retention of all but one of the heritage buildings (37- 43 Willis Street)
retaining the Victoria Arcade link between Willis and Victoria Streets
architecturally treating the whole site as a single site, i.e. new apartment building spanning over a series of buildings
a maximum building height that is well within the 90 metre District Plan height limit for the site
90 apartments designed to suit a wide range of budgets
mixed-use development - retail/food, offices and apartments.
Mark McGuinness, a Director of Willis Bond & Co Ltd, has led the proposal team and the architect for the project is Ian Athfield.
Mr McGuinness says he is very excited by being given the opportunity to redevelop the site and can't wait to get on with it. "We are looking forward to working closely with the Council to achieve the best outcome on this site for the city."
Cr Shaw says that while the sale price of $12.5 million is less than the $15.4 million book value, this is because of the conditions put on the sale. "The lower price reflects the price of the conditions which included heritage preservation, the additional design constraints, leasehold and contractual conditions."
A valuation for the Council based on the Urban Design Brief conditions valued the properties at $12.7 million which is very close to the $12.5 million sale price.
Money received from the sale will be used to repay Council debt.
An important issue at the time of deciding the sale was the relocation of the community tenants in the building. At the time of the sale decision, eight community groups were leasing offices in the buildings from the Council.
Cr Shaw says the Council felt it was important to ease the transition to market rental for the community groups.
"These groups provide important services in the community and their central city location means they are accessible to all. In the past some of these groups have had their rent paid by the Council while others enjoyed rentals well below market rates. Now that we are selling the Chews Lane precinct these groups are being faced with market rentals.
"To help them with this transition we have helped them find alternative accommodation and are providing financial assistance."
Of the eight community groups that were based in the Chews Lane precinct the Council has relocated four of them into a privately owned building at 84 Willis Street.
The four groups are the Wellington Volunteer Centre, the Wellington Community Law Centre, the Wellington Mental Health Consumers Union and Vincent's Art Workshop.
Of the remaining tenants, final lease negotiations are underway for the Women's Centre relocation and the Council has agreed to assist Mokai Kaianga into a new residential property. PICACC have gone into recession and ALAY is in discussions with the Council on an ongoing basis.
Colliers International marketed the properties on Council's behalf.