Christchurch properties earmarked for acquisition – but doubts raised
"I feel sorry for the property owners with all this compulsory acquisition."Featured comment
Negotiating property values will prove the main hurdle for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority’s new Christchurch blueprint.
See the full blueprint at ccdu.govt.nz
Read also: Government opts for denser inner city living in Christchurch blueprint
Land required for the anchor projects unveiled today will be designated by the government under the Public Works Act by the end of this week, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.
This effectively means an immediate freeze on all affected properties, even where developments may have begun.
Prices will be based on market values at the date the land is acquired rather than on rateable valuations, which was the formula used for residential red-zoned properties.
Ben Kepes, co-owner of a CBD property where a four-story building stood before demolition, told NBR ONLINE, "While I applaud the fact that the government has taken this opportunity to re-design the city, I have several concerns.
"Why was this entire process undertaken in extreme secrecy despite there being no valid commercial reason to do so?
"And as someone who owns property that is to be compulsorarily acquired I have some serious concerns about purchase price – we have spent significant money planning for a rebuild and am concerned that the purchase price will in no way reflect this."
"Broad brush, conceptual"
Mr Brownlee said CERA would be talking to up to 800 owners of large and small parcels of land. The city council owns some of the land.
Values may be considerably lower than pre-2010, but many owners have already received a healthy insurance payout because most were well insured.
Judicial review is generally unavailable to designated properties but the Crown/CERA must still bargain in good faith.
Mr Brownlee described the announcements today as “broad brush” and “conceptual”.
A new 2000-seat convention centre will be sited between Gloucester St and Victoria Square in the north west area of Cathedral Square and will accommodate two hotels exempt from the 28m (seven level) height restriction applying to the rest of the central city.
A 35,000-seat multisports covered stadium will go on the vacant Turners & Growers site on the blocks bounded by St Asaph, Lichfield, Barbadoes and Madras streets.
A metro sports centre with expanded seating for 5000 people will be situated immediately to the east of Hagley High School near Hagley Park. It will include indoor courts and spaces for dance activities.
A small bus exchange is destined for Lichfield/Tuam St.
Victoria Square will become more of a cultural precinct, dominated by a Ngai Tahu centre.
The hospital area will be expanded eat along Oxford Tce, while the blocks to the east of Latimer Square will be zoned for residential purposes and open space.
Other features will include cycleways and enhancement of the Avon River bank areas.
Mr Brownlee said the Crown will be the financier via CERA – however, funding lines for a city plan have been set in place by the Christchurch City Council.
The government would seek partnerships with the private sector, Mr Brownlee said.
He declined to give a time frame but said the Avon River landscaping might be the first move.