The first real steps towards the new $37 million civic centre in Whangārei which will house district councillors and staff have been taken.
Earlier this year Whangārei District Council agreed on two possible sites for the building - a combined Forum North and RSA site or somewhere in the city CBD.
Whangārei District Council staff operate across two buildings - Forum North, which the council owns - and Walton Plaza. It costs around $1 million a year to house staff at Walton Plaza.
The council has now released two Registration of Interest documents for a new centre.
WDC general manager corporate Alan Adcock said the council is looking for a lead contractor to work with to develop the civic centre. The lead contractor will assemble a team of experienced professionals such as a quantity surveyor and builder etc.
"We want a supplier who has a proven track record and established systems for a build like this," Adcock said.
The council is also looking for a principal's agent who will provide independent advice to everyone involved and help with overall project management.
Registrations of interest for the lead contractor role close on November 15. It is intended to be minimal effort for respondents and allow the council to create a short list of suppliers to invite to enter the request for proposal process.
The more detailed request for proposal process is a significant investment for any organisation that wants to submit.
"We plan to complete the process and appoint the lead contractor before Christmas," Adcock said.
A similar process is being followed for the principal's agent, which closes on November 16.
In the overview for the lead contractor ROI it states the council also has $10.5 million allocated as partial funding for a new theatre/expo/conference centre development.
"While this is a separate project that has not had specifications developed yet, this might be something that the parties consider," Adcock said.
"We want this to be a positive experience for all parties involved and are looking for a supplier with a strong track record in working this way."
Adcock said the council is after something that is fit for purpose and within the $37m budget.
"It must provide value for money, meet all statutory requirements, include innovative ideas and reflect the needs of the community now and in the future. It must also be designed with sustainability in mind - ideally to a Green Star 4 rating," he said.