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Agreement reached on new crossing car park building

Agreement reached on new crossing car park building

22 May 2014

The construction of a large new car park building on the Crossing site in the CBD is being described by Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel as a circuit-breaker for retail development in the inner city.

The Christchurch City Council has announced it has reached agreement with Carter Group Ltd which will build a 534-space car park on the Crossing site and operate and maintain it for 50 years as a public car park.

"This is a very significant announcement," said the Mayor.

"The provision of car parking at this kind of scale is a critical requirement for a successful retail environment in the inner city.

"Together with Carter Group we have delivered a clear signal to banks, investors and developers about the City Council's support for the retail precinct," said the Mayor.

Carter Group Chief Executive Mary Devine said the agreement with the Council would be a game-changer for the rebuild of the CBD and also the retail precinct.

"As well as underpinning our own $100 million retail development, we believe this will also unlock other developments in the retail precinct and the CBD.

"It will give other investors, developers and tenants confidence that now is the time to progress their plans.

"Reaching an agreement with the City Council has been a long journey but Carter Group appreciates the collaborative approach taken by the Council and the Central City Development Unit of CERA in finding a solution that works for all," said Mary Devine.

The existing 200-space Crossing car park was built in terms of an agreement reached with Carter Group in 1998.

This building was significantly damaged as a result of the earthquakes and negotiation with the Council's insurer was delaying the decision on the future of the site, putting doubt around Carter Group's own development and affecting other investor and developer confidence around the retail precinct.

The Council formed a project control group to work together with Carter Group for a solution to ensure public car parking would return to the inner city.

In the agreement reached, the Council has sold the car park land to Carter Group for market value, and Carter Group has agreed to build the 534-space car park as part of its proposed $100 million retail development.

Carter Group will operate and maintain the building for 50 years as a public car park.

Full details of the agreement are subject to a commercial confidentiality clause that expires in late 2015.

Cr Paul Lonsdale said the success of the inner city was all about having people come into town and what they wanted being accessible.

"This council is totally committed to ensuring it plays a key role in facilitating the delivery of our city centre's success," said Cr Lonsdale who was formerly central city manager for the Business Association and played a key role in managing the Re:START project.

Cr Lonsdale said momentum was already underway that would transform the inner city in a relatively short time.

"Re:START is moving to make way for the $100m Cashel Square development. A total of 1700 government office workers are going to lease buildings in the Cashel Square development.

"Westpac will shift more than 450 staff into new premises being built by Antony Gough in his Terrace complex on Oxford Tce.

"The Justice and Emergency Precinct will be the largest multi-agency government co-location project in New Zealand's history.

"The Bus Interchange opening in mid 2015 will handle up to 115 bus movements per hour and by 2041 it will be used by about 7,500 people per hour.

"Very soon more than 2000 people will be working in or using the retail precinct daily," said Cr Lonsdale.

The chair of the Council's finance committee Cr Raf Manji said the agreement ensured ratepayers' interests were protected while satisfying the Council's pre-existing commercial commitments with the Carter Group.

ENDS

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