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Westfield interested in Britomart Concourse

MEDIA RELEASE

3 December 2001


Westfield interested in building Britomart Concourse

Shopping centre manager Westfield has put a proposal to Auckland City Council to build a concourse under Queen Elizabeth Square as part of the Britomart project.

The provision of an underground concourse linking the Ferry buildings and Queen Street, at an estimated cost of $50 million, was dropped from the Britomart project as a cost saving measure, however the council sought expressions of interest to build the concourse from the private sector.

A number of parties expressed interest in the concept, however only one, Westfield (New Zealand) Ltd which owns the adjacent Downtown Centre, has made a formal proposal.

A recommendation is being made to next Thurday’s Finance and Corporate Business Committee that Westfield be granted an “exclusive right” until the end of May next year to investigate the feasibility of carrying out the project.

A report to the committee says there are a number of issues needing to be sorted out between the Council and Westfield including the fact that there are no connections in the Westfield proposal under either Quay or Customs Streets, something council considers fundamentally important.

It says there is also some doubt that the turning areas required for buses are sufficient under the Westfield scheme.

The report says the retail concourse will provide significant benefits for the city when compared to the “mini-concourse”, 5-metre wide walkway, which would be provided by the $200.3 million Britomart project in its present form.

The Mayor, John Banks says the expression of interest from business is welcome showing the potential for the council and the private sector to work hand in hand in the provision of amenities for the city.

The committee will also receive an officer’s recommendation that options for disposing of above ground properties in the Britomart precinct be considered by council midway through next year.

The report says council has received a number of approaches from the private sector with a wide range of suggestions as to how private sector involvement could enhance council’s urban renewal objectives.

He says the recommendation will give an opportunity for the suggestions to be considered, and the conservation plans for heritage buildings to be developed.


ENDS

For further information, please contact:
- Peter Verschaffelt, Communications Manager, Auckland City
Phone 09 373 6805

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