More details about the development of Whangārei's $37 million civic centre are expected to be known before Christmas.

Registrations of interest for two roles at the heart of the development of the centre - which will bring all Whangārei District Council staff and councillors under one roof - closed last month.

They were for a lead contractor who would work with the council to develop the civic centre, and a principal's agent, who will provide independent advice to everyone involved and help with overall project management.

Whangārei District Council corporate general manager Alan Adcock said the council had 12 responses for the registrations of interest for the leader contractor role, and nine for the principal's agent role.

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He said council staff had taken a shortlist of three suppliers to the request for proposal stage for both procurements.

"In both cases the short-listed parties have been asked to present more details about their methodology, expertise, track record and pricing structures."

Adcock said council staff are scheduling the completion of their evaluation process and recommendations to council for their decision before Christmas.

A site in the city centre could be home to the $37 million Civic Centre. Photo/Tania Whyte
A site in the city centre could be home to the $37 million Civic Centre. Photo/Tania Whyte

Earlier this year, councillors agreed on two possible sites for the building - a combined RSA/Forum North site or somewhere in the city centre.

At the moment, council staff operate across two buildings, Forum North and Walton Plaza. It cost around $1m a year to house staff at Walton Plaza.

The overview for the lead contractor ROI stated the council also had $10.5m allocated as partial funding for a new theatre/expo/conference centre development.

At the time Adcock said while it was a separate project that has not had specifications developed yet, it might be something that the parties consider.

The council is seeking a building not just fit for purpose and within budget but one which also meets statutory requirements, and is designed with sustainability in mind.