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March deadline for Britomart aboveground project

March deadline for Britomart aboveground project

The Bluewater Consortium has until March 31 to finalise arrangements with Auckland City for the Britomart aboveground development.

The council’s Britomart Aboveground Working Party extended the original 27 February deadline at its meeting this week.

Britomart is a transport, heritage and urban revitalisation project covering a 5.2 hectare site in downtown Auckland between Quay and Customs Streets, Britomart Place and Queen Elizabeth Square.

“We have noted the good progress being made in all areas of negotiations,” said Councillor Douglas Armstrong, chair of the council’s working party established to consider the proposals and make a recommendation to council.

“This will be the largest single heritage protection project ever undertaken in New Zealand. The council is looking forward to unveiling the exciting plans for this vital part of Auckland’s central business district.”

Note to editors:

In 1999 Auckland City adopted a basic principle, which was that the future of the Britomart site be determined with the help of its owners - the Auckland public.

As a result of public feedback the council developed the following objectives for the Britomart Project: to provide a transport interchange (now in operation) the creation of a low rise heritage based area where the city meets the sea the creation of an environment which contains a rich mix of activities and ensures the area is vibrant 24 hours a day an upgrade and revitalisation of the area which ensures a people-dominated and safe environment reinforce and reinvigorate retailing in the downtown area. Using these principles, in 2000 the council ran a design competition for the Britomart Project, which was won by Mario Madayag and Jasmax Architects. The winning design formed the basis of the Britomart masterplan. Last year Auckland City called for proposals from developers for the area’s heritage buildings and large development site, based on the agreed masterplan. The council had received 14 proposals when submissions closed on 18 December 2002.

In March Auckland City shortlisted four proposals from the original 14. The four parties were then required to develop their plans, timetables, financial details and provide other information. One of the heritage buildings, MSAS House, was withdrawn from the process last year, pending the outcome of a case between Auckland City and Krukziener Properties which will be heard in the Court of Appeal on 11 March 2004. In July 2003 the council announced the request for proposals process for the Britomart aboveground development was down to two parties Melview Developments and the Bluewater Consortium (made up of Cooper and Stebbins, Phillimore Properties and Multiplex Ltd).

Both parties then submitted more detailed proposals. The proposals were carefully assessed by the working party and an evaluation panel which included property development, city planning, community planning and heritage specialists from Auckland City as well as independent architects and urban design experts. Both proposals were evaluated against the following criteria: the ability to meet Auckland City’s objectives the suitability and quality of the new development (incorporating old and new buildings) acceptability of the programme for development (timeframe) the financial capability of the proponent price any other factor deemed relevant by the council On 27 November 2003 the council announced it would negotiate with the Bluewater Consortium but reserved the discretion to recommence negotiations with Melview Developments if arrangements were not finalised by 27 February 2004.

For further information on the history of the Britomart Project please visit http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/projects/britomart

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