Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Super City seeks to raise $100m from assets

Photo / Michael Craig
Photo / Michael Craig

The Auckland Council is embarking on a $100 million sale of surplus land and buildings to raise capital for big projects, such as the inner-city rail loop.

Auckland Property Holdings, a council-owned body, is scoping about 950 non-core properties inherited from the previous eight Auckland councils with a view to selling several hundred over the next two years.

Property Holdings chief executive David Rankin yesterday said it was not a "fire sale", but a staged process of assessing all the non-core properties inherited from the previous councils and consulting the council's property division, local boards and the Maori Statutory Board before proceeding to sale.

Many properties were held by Auckland Property for projects such as the Auckland-Manukau eastern transport initiative (Ameti) and an upgrade of the Papatoetoe town centre, Mr Rankin said.

Other properties were no longer needed for council purposes, such as those bought for the scaled-back $100 million upgrade of Dominion Rd. Mr Rankin would not say what properties were being prepared for sale, but said the first tranche of about two dozen would go to local boards in early October for feedback.

He said the council body had sold about $21 million worth of property this year from a $38 million portfolio that the previous councils had earmarked for sale.

The $100 million sales target includes the $38 million of sales already under way.

Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay said the $21 million worth of sales to date were "just scratching the surface" and further sales could provide significant equity for big infrastructure projects.

Last week, Mayor Len Brown raised the property sales in a major scene-setting speech for a 10-year budget being prepared in his name.

Mr Brown said he did not support the sale of council shares in Auckland Airport or Ports of Auckland, but the Super City had significant holdings of land and buildings that could be sold.

Meanwhile, Mr McKay has been reorganising council accommodation in the central city by taking out a three-year lease on the former Telecom headquarters at Hereford St, off Karangahape Rd, to replace several leases that have expired.

The 3500 council staff who work in the central business district - from a total of 8000 employees across the city - will now be located in four buildings: Hereford St, the Civic Building, Bledisloe House and Graham St.

Mr McKay said he was now looking for a single building to house all the city-based staff over the next couple of years.

- NZ Herald

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