QE2 square sale to de­vel­op­ers con­sid­ered

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Prime down­town space may be sold to pri­vate property de­vel­op­ers.

Auck­land Coun­cil has agreed to look at sell­ing Queen El­iz­a­beth Square, near Brit­o­mart, to Precinct Prop­er­ties.

The commercial property man­ager wants to de­velop a 1 hectare chunk of land stretch­ing from Wyn­yard Quar- ter to the square, in­clud­ing a ma­jor re­vamp of the Down­town shop­ping cen­tre.

Auck­land Coun­cil states it has ‘‘agreed in prin­ci­ple’’ to ne­go­ti­ate the sale of the square in re­turn for pro­ceeds be­ing used to pro­vide ‘‘qual­ity down­town pub­lic spa­ces’’.

Precinct chief ex­ec­u­tive Scott Pritchard says it is widely ac­cepted that the cen­tral city is shift­ing from one that runs north-south down Queen St to one that fol­lows the wa­ter­front.

The Wyn­yard de­vel­op­ment will take five to six years at a cost of about $200 mil­lion. It is hoped it will fos­ter an ex­ist­ing ‘‘in­no­va­tion hub’’ of tech­nol­o­gy­ori­ented com­pa­nies on site. It may also open the op­por­tu­nity to rein­tro­duce as­pects of the his­toric Lit­tle Queen St.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse says the coun­cil is in the early stages of pro­pos­als for the area.

‘‘With the city rail link tun­nels run­ning be­low Precinct Prop­er­ties build­ings, it makes sense to align the tun­nel con­struc­tion with the com­pany’s de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme.’’

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