Auckland Council rejects $75m offer for carpark building
"Carparks sell for between $75k and $90k in the CBD. This offer values the individual parks at $39k"Featured comment
UPDATE / June 9: James Brown and Simon Rowntree pressured Len Brown for a quick response to their unsolicited $75 million offer for the council's downtown carpark building.
Today they got one: no.
The council says an unsolicited $7.5 million deposit cheque has been returned to Brown and Rowntree, who own Tournament Parking.
The pair had given the council until close of busniness Friday to respond to their cash offer for the 6442sqm carparking site.
A spokesman for the council told NBR ONLINE Len Brown did not meet with the two businessmen, who claimed the sale of the carpark could fast track the City Rail Link development.
Council chief executive Stephen Town says the council has not made any decision about selling the carpark ahead of developing its Long-term Plan.
“If there is to be any divestment of parking assets, a proposal to do so would be included in the Long-term Plan for public consultation,” Mr Town said.
$75m carpark offer labelled "cheeky"
June 7: A $75 million unsolicited offer on Auckland Council's downtown carpark building has been bagged as "cheeky".
The building, which sits on a 6442sqm site, has a rateable value of $65 million ($32 million for the land, $33 million for improvements), $10 million less than the cash bid made yesterday by Tournament Parking owners James Brown and Simon Rowntree. The pair say the building is in need of an upgrade.
"It is a cheeky offer as it's not that much more than the CV but the property will gain in value hugely due to the CRL [City Rail Link]," said TransportBlog co-founder Matt Lowrie after being approached for comment by NBR.
The lower Hobson St carpark has around 1900 spaces, and sit in a prime location a block back from the waterfront Viaduct.
The council has long term plans to redevelop the site away from parking, Mr Lowrie points says.
"This offer means that vision might not happen."
The counci's City Centre Master Plan describes the view from the carpark in Lower Hobson St as "one of Auckland's finest, but currently reserved for vehicles".
It calls for the block to be redeveloped with shops, cafes and restaurants at street level and some carparking. The council wants to remove the carpark building as a "barrier to the waterfront" and "create a new harbour window," according to commentary on the plan.
Brown and Rowntree, who are being represented by Matthew Hooton's PR company Exceltium, say their proposed deal would fast-track the City Rail Link project, and help ensure nearby Queen’s Wharf and Queen Elizabeth Square remain publicly-owned. It has been mooted that the council sell the spaces to help fund its leg of the CRL.
The pair's $75 million offer includes a legally binding commitment not to increase casual parking rates above the rate of inflation for at least five years.
"The council has been holding down the market on pricing and Tournament holding parking' prices at inflation doesn't change that," Mr Lowrie says.
Auckland Council chief executive confirmed Stephen Town an unsolicited offer was received Friday morning, but said no comment would be made until next week — including on whether, if it decides to sell, the council will seek other offers.
Brown and Rowntree say their $75 million offer expires close of business Friday.