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Economic development boost for Ōtaki

Economic development boost for Ōtaki

December 20, 2013

Shortfalls in the tenancy uptake of the second clean technology building have forced Council to step in and take hold of the reins.

The performance of the Clean Technology Trust had left the Council “significantly underwhelmed” with little to show for the investment that had so far been allocated, said Councillor Gavin Welsh, Chair of Council’s Corporate Business Committee.

As a result, Council has taken over the lease (for a six year term) with a view to widening the criteria for the types of tenants the second building might support.

The independent trust was set up in July 2012 to drive the growth and development of the Clean Technology Park off Riverbank Road in Ōtaki.

The Park involves two buildings. The first was erected several years ago and is managed by Grow Wellington. The second, still under construction by Riverbank Estates Ltd, will be completed early in the New Year.

Just over a year ago the previous Council decided to support the Trust by providing a $1.5 million loan to be paid back over a period of nine years. At the time it set down how that loan could be used.

“Unfortunately the Trust failed to stay within the original financial envelope, spending more on administration than it should have,” said Councillor Welsh.

“We are now close to the building being completed and although there has been some measured interest from the clean technology sector, very few have committed to take up residence.”

Council wished to continue its commitment to economic development in Ōtaki, “so we will be widening our focus to include new and innovative businesses, and giving it an almighty shove to get the place buzzing," he said.

"Our economic development team is currently in negotiations with Grow Wellington as to which businesses could be best suited to take full advantage of this impressive new building, along with all the benefits and support networks that come with it."

Councillor Welsh said the development of clean technology would continue at the park, however “we believe that the widened criteria will prove less restrictive to prospective tenants."

He said the new arrangements would be funded from the Economic Development budgets agreed to by Council in the Long Term Plan and would require no additional ratepayer funding.

Mayor Ross Church welcomed the moves. "Kāpiti is poised to develop both innovatively and economically. We're really keen to ensure that Ōtaki continues to play an important part within that development." he said.

The new building is due to open early next year, offering superior 'off grid' technology, Ultra Fast Broadband, and wide-reaching business development networks.

Interested parties should contact Philippa Richardson at Kāpiti Coast District Council on 042964700 to register for the open day.

Click here for further information.

ENDS

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