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Britomart - Commercial Property Backs New Vision

Long-time critics of the recently defeated development of the Britomart area, the Property Council of New Zealand has decided to commit $50,000 for the Auckland City Council to run a design competition, stimulating alternative ideas and concepts from New Zealand’s best architects and designers.

According to the National Director of the Property Council, Mr John Dakin, “There now exists an opportunity for a new beginning and the Property Council has been considering positive ways in which we can assist Auckland City to develop a viable solution for this important location.”

Mr Dakin says the Council has taken a strong stand on behalf of ratepayers on what has obviously been a contentious issue to resolve, but that now was time to look to the future.

“Clearly it is vital that there are no further delays toward a plan for the Britomart area that satisfies both the Council’s transport objectives and revitalises an area of Auckland that shows the signs of many years neglect.”

“The award is a way to ensure a stimulating environment where fresh thinking is encouraged, alternative solutions uncovered and we avoid any temptation to ‘reinvent’ the previous proposal.”

It is the Property Council’s hope that by pooling the talent and resources available within Auckland City Council, the commercial property sector and the professional design community, future plans for the Britomart area can achieve the support of ratepayers and provide a solution that forms part of the regional transport strategy for Auckland.

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In order to provide a demonstrably neutral competition environment, the Property Council has proposed that the New Zealand Institute of Architects set the competition guidelines and judging criteria, while the judging panel be chaired by an independent chairman and contain a mixture of architectural and commercial representatives together with representative(s) from Auckland City Council.

Mr Dakin said, “We would envisage four or five winning designs that would be developed further into commercially viable proposals for Council to consider, with the four or five winning designs sharing the prize.”

Auckland City Council would provide administration support for the competition

The Property Council proposes that once the winning designs were decided, the judging panel would change, with an emphasis on commercial expertise. This judging panel would then work with Council to complete negotiations with the winning bid.

“The initial drive of the award is for innovative but practical solutions to the existing challenges. The Property Council feels that once the awards are isolated to the four to five major concepts driven by the brief, commercial viability has to be the next component, ensuring that Auckland City not only has a transport interchange with the highest design values, but is also efficient and cost effective, not over burdening Auckland rate payers.

According to Mr Dakin, the development of the design brief is central to the success of the final solution and as such it is necessary to work through this in a methodical way ensuring the necessary input from interested parties is obtained.

The Property Council looks forward to the opportunity to discuss their proposal further with Mayor, Christine Fletcher and the Auckland City Council.

The Property Council's membership comprises many of New Zealand's leading property investors, developers and managers, together with providers of specialist products and services to the property sector. This offer of sponsorship has the suport of New Zealand leading construction companies, Lend Lease, Multiplex, Fletcher Construction and Mainzeal.

The Property Council was formerly known as the Building Owners and Managers Association of New Zealand (BOMA).

-ENDS-


For further information contact: Mr. John Dakin, National Director
The Property Council of New Zealand
(09) 373 3086
(025) 540 494


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