Archive | Archive – local property

Snapshot on local property, week to 15 December 2002

11 December 2002

PW Investments Ltd (David Henderson of Kitchener Group & Princes Wharf developer) has applied to the Auckland Regional Council to change conditions of the coastal permit for the wharf redevelopment, so it can close public access to level 1 of sheds 21 & 24, at the end of the wharf, from 8pm-8am in summer & 6pm-8am in winter for privacy, security, public safety & amenity. The 2nd condition change sought is for an amended landscape plan. Submissions close with the regional council on Wednesday 5 February.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 1 December 2002

1 December 2002

All new spa pools in Auckland and North Shore cities will have to be fenced following a recent determination by the Building Industry Authority. The determination means lockable spa pool covers can no longer be approved as a suitable safety barrier. Lockable covers were regarded as an alternative solution under the building code, not requiring separate fencing, but the authority decided they relied too much on the human factor. The changes will not affect spa pools that received building consent before 30 October 2002 on the North Shore, and 11 November 2002 in Auckland City. Councils around the country have had different views on the issue. New spa pools that are not in a building or an enclosed structure must now have a complying fence. This also applies to portable spa pools. Details on council websites: North Shore City and Auckland City.

Brad McIntosh, manager of Hallensteins’ Johnsonville store, has won Westfield NZ Ltd’s young retailer of the year award.

27 November 2002

Housing NZ Corp signed a protocol with the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority committing it to improving the comfort & energy efficiency of state houses. The authority’s chief executive, Heather Staley, said about 600,000 New Zealand houses were cold & damp because they were poorly insulated. Housing NZ Corp added energy-efficient features to about 4000 properties last year.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 9 September 2001

6 September 2001

The Reserve Bank has appointed Colliers Jardine as exclusive agents to sell its Auckland building at 67 Customs St, which the last Reserve Bank staff stopped working in last Christmas. “Most significantly it is superbly located to take advantage of a revitalised Britomart precinct [across the road],” the bank’s head of currency & building services, Brian Lang, said. The building took longer than an average property boom to build — it was started in 1978 and finished in 1982, one of the last projects by Cubitts NZ Ltd. It has two basement vault levels, 11 office levels and two building services levels, net lettable area of 8354m2, and sits on a 1595m2 freehold site. Colliers Jardine will take it to international tender closing on 17 October.

Dairy Brands NZ Ltd, which announced on 10 August it had entered a new contract to sell its remaining seven farms after the previous contract fell over, has settled the August deal. This Friday, 7 September, Dairy Brands will make a buyback offer for two out of every three shares held, at 70c each, up to a total of just udner 35 million shares. The offer will close on 28 September.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 27 April 2003

24 April 2003

The NZ Herald’s owner, APN News & Media Ltd of Australia, has sold the Herald building on Albert St for $23 million, with a 20-year tenancy agreement.

Wensley Developments Ltd (Ros & Raewyn Wensley) has put the management rights for its Glebe Apartments in Queenstown on the market. The development, 200m from the top of the mall, has 9 levels containing 38 units ranging from 83-640m² and boasts a 5-star Qualmark rating.
Websites: The Glebe
Wensley Developments Ltd

Marcam Developments Ltd(Mark Perriam & Cameron Marsh) has won its long battle for consent to build a 75-suite boutique hotel (smallest units 42m², 1-bedroom suites 65m²) on the corner of Duke & Brecon Sts, at the foot of the climb up to Queenstown. The development will have about 2000m² of retail on 2 levels, with 4 levels of hotel above. It’s intended to be a 5-star property, but no operator has been signed yet.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 31 August 2003

30 August 2003

Australasian Property Holdings Ltd increased its loss from $271,799 to $3.26 million in the June year on operating revenue down from $17.8 million to $4 million.

Holders of Urbus Properties Ltd convertible notes have the right to convert all or part of their notes into ordinary shares on 6 October, the next election date, but must give the company notice by Friday 19 September. Urbus made 3 points against conversion, in its notice to the Stock Exchange: conversion is a 1:1 basis, the current notes market price, 88c at the close on Friday, is below the 92c issue price and the price that will be paid on maturity in March 2007, and the ordinary shares to be issued on conversion won’t carry any dividend or distribution rights for the September half.

28 August 2003

Auckland International Airport Ltd chairman Wayne Boyd said demand continued for developments on the company’s land bank, and more projects were approved for the next year. “A number of major projects are under negotiation that will provide additional impetus to our property development strategy,” he said. The airport company increased net profit after tax by 16.8% to $83.5 million, including $6.7 million from the transfer of roading assets to it, on revenue from normal operations up 13.5% to $228 million (including $17.6 million from retendering major retail concessions. Total passenger movements rose 7.1% to 9.4 million, and aircraft movements increased 1.3% to 144,531.

26 August 2003

Pacific Capital Investments Ltd has reduced its holding in the Paramount Property Trust from 18.2% 2 months ago to 15.1% on 21 August. ING NZ Ltd has bought half of the management company and will take over running the trust & its portfolio. The trust’s name will change to the ING Property Trust on 1 September.
Websites: ING NZ
Paramount Property Trust

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Snapshot on local property, week to 9 December 2001

9 December 2001

Auckland City Council city development committee & planning fixtures sub-committee chairman Juliet Yates called this week for developers not to create slum conditions, after ducking a presentation by the Property Council at the development committee’s meeting the previous week. Instead of allowing the Property Council to make a submission in the committee’s public forum, Cllr Yates organised an undated meeting which may or may not be public. As for the prevention of slums, the councillor has it in her own hands — to notify developments she believes are of substandard quality. They might get through all the hoops, but they’d be subject to public glare on the way. As for the one development that got Cllr Yates hopping for its one bathroom/floor, just letting it through the notification process with a polite cough about conditions is hardly promotion of better construction.

7 December 2001

Calls to rename the Viaduct Basin as Blake Harbour came thick & fast today after the murder at the mouth of the Amazon of New Zealand’s top sailor, Sir Peter Blake. On the North Shore, mayor George Wood and community & parks committee chairman Cllr Margaret Miles said they would recommend changing the name of HMNZS Tamaki, the headland between Narrow Neck & Cheltenham beaches, to honour Sir Peter, who went to school on the Shore and whose mother still lives at Bayswater.

6 December 2001

Mortgage bankers Cairns Lockie has these expectations for 2002, as stated in their last newsletter for 2001: Continued good demand for housing on the back of low mortgage rates, positive migration figures & low unemployment; lower mortgage rates, with further cuts at the short end of the curve, particularly on floating rates;more mortgage products becoming available, particularly for those with impaired credit histories — Cairns Lockie is working on such products.

Kingsgate International Corp Ltd will redeem all remaining 24.6 million unlisted preference shares on 18 December for a total $18.7 million, including dividends. The company issued the preference shares in September 1998 to proceed with the Birkenhead Quays residential project in Sydney, but has sold most of the project, has good cashflow & can borrow at better rates for the remaining debt requirement.

Britomart Place & Commerce St have been cut off to all pedestrians & traffic between Customs & Quay Sts so the Britomart underground station can be built. They’ll stay closed until the station is completed in mid-2003.

Nominations for the Property Council’s 2002 building awards close next Wednesday 12 December. Entries close on 2 February.

5 December 2001

The Keystone Ridge apartment development case returned to the Environment Court today, sent back there by the High Court in April. Kitchener Group Ltd (David Henderson) has reduced the proposal by 13 apartments to 53, but remains opposed by the Keystone Watch Group (Barrie & Neville Paterson). “We’re back again, lucky us,” said Environment Judge Gordon Whiting as the court, Kitchener counsel Richard Brabant & the Patersons spent the first half hour trying to work out what this particular case was dealing with. “Is it de novo or are we just limited to the [High Court] judge’s ruling?” Judge Whiting asked, before answering his own question with what seems a typical Environment Court response: “I think we’ll box on.”

An Auckland Waterfront advisory group has been set up by Infrastructure Auckland and waterfront landowners Viaduct Harbour Holdings Ltd, Ports of Auckland Ltd & Americas Cup Village Ltd to produce a blueprint for redeveloping the area from the Viaduct Harbour edge west past the harbour bridge. Sydney-based international urban planner Malcolm Latham is chairman, with former Mainzeal director John Whitehead as its project director. Auckland mayor John Banks said he strongly supported the aim of producing a long-term plan. A core group of six local architects & urban planners will work with the advisory group, in conjunction with an international review panel and subject to a reference group of local interests. It’s expected to take about a year to produce the long-term vision.

North Shore City Council has deferred its hearings on the North Shore busway and the widening of Lake & Esmonde Rds to 4 February (busway & Esmonde Rd) and 4 March (Lake Rd), so they can be dealt with without a break.

The National Property Trust has agreed to a second deferral for the sale of Hornby Mall. The trust’s prospectus for $25 million of capital notes to be used to finance the upgrade of the Eastgate shopping centre in Christchurch, said the $23 million Hornby sale was conditional on finance being confirmed by the buyers by 13 November. That date was extended to 1 December and has now been extended to 12 December, with settlement on 1 February 2002.

International consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle is working on a restructure of its Asia-Pacific region, but New Zealand chief executive Don Harrington said the changes would not alter the way the consultancy operates in New Zealand. More details expected next week.

4 December 2001

Chris Canning has retired as an executive director of Trans Tasman Properties Ltd after six years. He’s been based in Australia for the past two years.

Kiwi Income Property Trust has won Environment Court approval for the plan change allowing its 21ha Sylvia Park business centre, which joint managing director Richard Didsbury said would be built by mid-2005. The development will be staged on the site at the heart of the Auckland isthmus, beside the junction of the Southerm Motorway & South-eastern Highway. The court decision was a resounding knockback for the attempt by Westfield NZ Ltd to stifle the development on the grounds of trade competition (not allowed as an appeal basis under the Resource Management Act and, of course, not stated as the appeal basis).

In another Environment Court decision, Anzani Investments Ltd (Richard Kroon) has won approval for a four-storey building behind the Browns Bay beachfront reserve, and has made provision for a change in the North Shore City Council’s parking requirements on the site.

Westfield NZ Ltd has proposed building the $50 million concourse under Queen Elizabeth II Square as part of the Britomart transport interchange. Auckland City Council had dropped the more expensive version of the concourse & sought private sector proposals. Westfield was the only party to make a formal proposal. It owns the adjoining Downtown Centre.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 1 July 2001

Latest: Sky convention centre ruling end of week, Hartners’ personal debt compromise still in limbo,
Compulsory water tanks proposal for Rodney, Andrews quits temporary Fletcher Building post, Property Leaders’ time up, new Shanghai alternate on Richina board, Britomart funding decisions mid-July for tenders 10 August.

1 July 2001

A decision from the Casino Control Authority on Sky NZ Ltd’s application to expand its gambling facilities, at the same time creating a new convention centre across Federal St from the existing Sky City casino, is expected to be made at the end of the next week. The resource consent for the new centre has been extended, but Sky needs approval from the authority for any change in its gambling facilities.

Hartner Construction Ltd chief Wayne Hartner and his wife Gaile still haven’t got their proposed personal debt-compromise scheme in place. A committee appointed at the first meeting on the proposal, on 13 June, to look into the Hartners’ family trusts still had issues to look at when the meeting resumed on Friday, and there are also amendments to be made to the proposal, under which the Hartners would pay 43c/$, with a bank guarantee of 40c. Those personal creditors will now meet again to vote on the proposal in mid-July.

A proposal by Rodney District councillor Elizabeth Foster for the council’s environment committee to make a district plan submission — proposing that the installation of water storage tanks be required with every new building constructed in Rodney — was defeated on the casting vote of chairman John Ross when the committee met on Wednesday. There was a question of the council’s legal position in insisting on this construction feature. Cllr Foster, who chairs the council’s hearings committee, will make a personal submission on water tanks. Among her reasons for the motion, Cllr Foster said tanks would alleviate expected infrastructure costs caused by anticipated population increases.

29 June 2001

Michael Andrews has resigned as a Fletcher Building Ltd executive director, a role he took on in January after the new company’s intended chief executive quit the group. His replacement as chief executive is Ralph Waters, who was managing director Email in Australia until February.

The three listed property index followers created by NZ Guardian Trust Co Ltd will be wound up for lack of interest, if shareholders approve the management proposal at meetings on 23 August. Property Leaders Australia/New Zealand/Australia & New Zealand were listed in 1998 and promptly entered discount territory for the two with New Zealand components. They have 1000 investors, but funds of only $32 million invested. Guardian Trust said administration costs on the low investment level were limiting returns. Also on the horizon was the very real possibility they would lose their tax-free status in relation to capital gains. Guardian Trust said the companies would not have been formed without the benefit of that exemption, which expires in March 2002. Net values at 19 June were: Property Leaders Australia $1.03, Australia & NZ 97c, NZ 82c.

Roger Wang, the Shanghai-based managing director of private equity investment fund Richina Capital Partners Ltd, has been appointed an alternate director to David Pierce on the board of Richina Pacific Ltd, owner of Mainzeal Construction.

29 June 2001

Auckland mayor Christine Fletcher said Infrastructure Auckland and Transfund would announce how much they will give to the Britomart transport interchange project by mid-July. City councillors will discuss “the best use” of the funds in early August and tenders are to be called by 10 August. These facts were tacked on the end of a mayoral release on a survey showing most people supported creation of a downtown hub and would use it. Meanwhile, the Britomart bus stops have been spread around the whole downtown area, enabling some passengers to sit on a bench outside a massage parlour while they wait for their bus, and others to loiter in the dark, without seating or adequate shelter, as in Wellesley and Wyndham Sts.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 7 April 2002

3 April 2002

Strategic Finance Ltd increased pretax net profit by 72% to $3.1 million on revenue up 94% to $12.8 million in the December half. Chief executive Jock Hobbs said investment deposits grew 149%, from $55 million at December 2000 to $137 million. Strategic Finance’s total assets rose from $115.5 million at June 2001 to $154 million. The specialist finance company offers financial services primarily to the commercial property sector. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of Strategic Investment Group Ltd which is a privately owned New Zealand investment banking group providing advisory and financing services.

Part of the middle section of Auckland International Airport’s main runway will be replaced between 6 April & 7 May — the first major repair to this runway area since the airport opened 37 years ago. It’s part of a 5-year programme to rebuild the runway/taxiway system. Aircraft will use the standby runway for the first time. Normally the main taxiway, this runway has been strengthened & widened over the past 2 years, but it has lower capacity than the main runway, which will cause some peak-period delays. The runway system was built in 1965 with a 25-year design life, extended by a comprehensive maintenance programme. The new reconstructed areas will have a 40-year-plus lifespan.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 17 August 2003

12 August 2003

The Environment Court has fined Campbell Kells and his company, Selwyn Mews Ltd, $12,500 each for failing to comply with an enforcement order requiring the company to build a retaining wall. The company and Mark Screen were fined $2000 each initially for breaching the building code after excavation on the residential development site at 88-92 Selwyn St, Onehunga, led to a subsidence, causing a wall & fence to collapse on a neighbouring property. Mr Screen was also fined $7500 for failing to comply with the enforcement order.

Australian company Abigroup Ltd got resource consents for the Quay Park indoor arena project but didn’t meet Auckland City Council’s commercial requirements in the wake of the Iraq war and Sars virus. Its exclusive-dealing agreement with the council ended on 7 August. Recreation & events committee chairman Scott Milne said the council would decide its next step on 28 August. The council wants a 12,000-seat venue next to the old central railway station, which has been converted to student accommodation. Cllr Milne said the council would widen its thinking on how to structure the fund/build/manage package.

Average residential sale price at Barfoot & Thompson in July was $387,919, up $17,000 on the June average. B&T director Peter Thompson said 1 reason was the seasonal shortage of listings, another the ratio of $500,000-plus sales – up from 32% in June to 36% of sales. In the rental sector, average weekly rents fell from $331 to $326 on a big increase in the number of houses & units let.

11 August 2003

Act MP Deborah Coddington it took 2 chase-up letters & a parliamentary question to get Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel to respond to the notion that the Building Industry Authority should pay back the $11.5 million it accumulated through overcharging. The minister said repayment of overcharges for the past 10 years wasn’t practical “Instead, she intends to pass new legislation allowing the BIA – already proved to be dysfunctional – to use these funds, plus interest. And if that was not bad enough, it’s clear from the minister’s letter that increases in levies are in the wind.” Ms Codington said she’d lodged more parliamentary questions on the size of the biggest amount owed.

Infrastructure Auckland’s electoral college voted on Friday to transfer America’s Cup Village Ltd’s Viaduct Basin land to the Auckland City Council, subject to a detailed agreement being reached. The council bought the eastern viaduct last month for $5.1 million but has sought a free transfer this time.

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Snapshot on local property, week to 6 October 2002

6 October 2002

Australasian Property Holdings Ltd, listed in New Zealand but with a project in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, began drawing down its $A4.6 million construction facility on 26 September for stage 1 of The Escarpments project at Katoomba. The stage comprises 4 fairway villas, 8 terraces, refurbishment of the golf clubhouse, golfcourse & civil works.

Justice David Baragwanath reserved his decision in the Auckland High Court on Thursday on the application by Ngati Maru Iwi Authority for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal against consent granted to Kiwi Income Property Trust for its Sylvia Park town centre project. The appeal is now down to earthworks, and the central issue was over cultural impact from damage to sacred sites, which the Thames-based iwi was unable to specify to the satisfaction of (now semi-retired) Principal Environmental Judge David Sheppard when he granted the trust consent to develop.

Interior Minister George Hawkins said the Government would establish a mediation service for owners of leaky homes to go to — prompted by industry & local body representatives into taking more than the previous zero action, as tough new insurance conditions looked set to close down much of the building industry. Mr Hawkins said after talks with the Insurance Council: “We do not believe the industry will grind to a halt as a result of insurance issues raised so far.” But although insurance action so far has been against specific independent building certifiers and related to future cover for this particular issue, it can knock such certifiers out of all business and could easily extend to other businesses. The next Government steps are to get a report on ways to ensure the building certification process works, and to ensure the regulatory process under the Building Act will stop leaky-building repetition.

Kiwi Income Properties Ltd, the manager of the Kiwi Income Property Trust, has started its $90 million redevelopment of the Northlands shopping centre in Christchurch. On completion by 2004, lettable area will increase from 20,785m² to 40,700m². Fletcher Construction Ltd has the main construction contract.

Housing NZ Corp has agreed to buy both Auckland City Council’s housing portfolios for $83 million — full market value of $31 million for the 129 ordinary units, but a 50% discount on the 1542 pensioner rental units on 50 sites. The discount takes into account that the pensioner sites will always be retained for social housing and that the corporation is committed to a fast-tracked redevelopment programme. The council said it would be relieved of $75 million of upgrades & maintenance costs over the next 20 years. The council is scheduled to approve the deal on Thursday 10 October. It’s due to go unconditional on 30 November, with settlement on 1 March 2003.

1 October 2002

North Shore mayor George Wood has urged people affected by leaky buildings to make submissions to the parliamentary select committee inquiring into the weathertightness of buildings. Written submissions & requests to be heard personally have to be lodged by Monday 21 October.

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