Christchurch Land confiscations continue…

And so it goes on:

Recently I learnt that all the buildings in the block bounded by Lichfield, High, Tuam and Madras streets will go to the compulsory acquisition process in September 2013. This is part of the so-called “Innovation Zone.”

Unfortunately we have the misfortune of being in this zone as well, In the next block.

There are a number of disturbing issues here:  The wording in the proposal document does not tally with the reality of what is occurring:

“A Market-led Approach”

“The Government will not prescribe an overarching design beyond a set of principles for spatial development of the Innovation Precinct or the management of the Innovation Precinct. The Government envisages that it can play a key role facilitating and coordinating with private organisations and developers to locate in the Innovation Precinct. It also envisages that there will be private land transactions between landowners, developers and tenants.”

  •  Hang on, one of the land owners in this Lichfield St block only found out that his land was being confiscated by email a few days ago.  They had only one private meeting with the CCDU, (where they were offered a silly low price.) And the consultation was a one hour block meeting 3 months ago, there have been no further discussions with this building owner.  This does not tally with the statement:  “provide a basis for discussion and engagement with private sector investors, developers, potential tenants, operators and other key stakeholders.

and more: The document states ” Engagement with existing property owners is currently being led by the CCDU.”

Humm- I have yet to receive any consultation of what is happening in our block.

There is starting to be a tidal wave of articles about what is happening in the central city.  Most of the building owners I know are saying “I told you so.”   There seems to be a slight element of “surprise” in the articles being written, as if the writers had not quite realised the extent of the ire many of us feel.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/8800443/Land-prices-drive-Chch-investors-away

In a nut shell:

The price of land within the green frame has reached ridiculous levels.  The CCDU has just started to realise that by creating an artificial shortage of land in the CBD they have pushed the price of land beyond what is sustainable.  ie if you add the cost of the land and the cost of the building together, the price of the rental per square metre is unaffordable for the tenant.  Therefore no property owner can afford to build, knowing that they can not get tenants.

Than this article was followed closely by this one:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/8800669/Disgraceful-bickering-stalling-CBD-rebuild

The “disgraceful bickering” in Christchurch when there was so much to be done was “depressing”.

“The worry was that the energy and optimism generated by the CBD blueprint was being drained away from the CBD to the periphery, where developers and builders were getting on with building.”

“The longer authorities left decision-making on the CBD and anchor projects, the harder it would become to populate the city centre.”

“His impression was that deals were frequently done in Christchurch between friends and people they had known for years, which could deter investors from outside without contacts. Potential investors from afar needed to see tangible progress”.

“There were some signs now the authorities had realised they had dropped the ball, and they were in the process of fixing it.”

My building owner friends are burying my inbox with cheeky comments most of them along the lines of: “ha ha,  I told you so, they would not listen, they are idiots,” one colleague says: “if only they knew how much I was enjoying this.”

Revenge is sweet they say. A pity it had to be at the expense of the small building owners.

We await our compulsory acquisition order with resignation.

One would feel so much better if one thought they knew what they were doing.

ho humm another day in Christchurch!

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