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Kiwi Businessmen Disappointed at Car-Park Offer Rejection

Kiwi Businessmen Disappointed at Car-Park Offer Rejection

The two Auckland businessmen who made an unconditional cash offer of $75 million to buy a downtown car-park from Auckland Council on Friday are disappointed the council this morning rejected their offer and returned their offer documents and $7.5 million deposit cheque.

The offer, by the kiwi entrepreneurs behind the city’s landmark City Works Depot precinct, James Brown, 39 of Freemans Bay, and Simon Rowntree, 39 of Orakei, was $10 million above valuation.

Mr Brown and Mr Rowntree hoped their offer would help reduce planned rates increases and enable Queen Elizabeth Square to remain open to Aucklanders and in public ownership. The council is currently negotiating the sale of Queen Elizabeth Square, in the heart of the CBD, with a publicly listed company.

However, this morning, lawyers for the council advised lawyers for Mr Brown and Mr Rowntree that the car-park’s divestment would need to be included in its Long-Term Plan, which is still being developed, and would require public consultation.

“James and Simon are disappointed that the council has decided not to consider alternatives to privatising Queen Elizabeth Square to fast-track the Auckland City Rail Link and reduce rate increases,” a spokesperson for Mr Brown and Mr Rowntree said today.

“Nevertheless, they accept the council’s decision and that’s where the matter will rest, enabling them to focus on other business opportunities.”


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