QE2 square sale to developers considered
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.’’