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Christchurch City Council extends time for evaluation of Turners and Growers development proposals

27 September 2004

Christchurch City Council has decided to take more time to evaluate developer proposals for the block of central city land known as the Turners and Growers site.

In 2002 the CCC bought the 1.75ha block bordered by Tuam, Madras, Lichfield and Barbadoes streets with the idea of using it to encourage a change in the area from light industrial to more residential and retail uses. The idea includes turning part of the block into a new central city park. The Council’s hope is that the park and surrounding development, along with a zoning change in the area which has subsequently happened, will be the catalyst for revitalising the south-east of the central city.

In 2003 the CCC firmed up its requirements and issued a registrations of interest (ROI) document, seeking firms interested in developing the block or parts of it. Early this year the Council short-listed five potential developers which were then asked to submit proposals to be assessed by a CCC panel.

It had been hoped the evaluation would be completed by mid-year but it was found that none of the proposals fully satisfied the Council’s expectations. Staff began discussions with several of the potential developers to see what could be done to close the gap between their proposals and what the CCC was seeking.

Allan Johnson, the project manager, says those talks are continuing and, because all involve potentially valuable business ideas, the City Council is not able to discuss details of them at present.

“All I can really say about it is that we have some interesting proposals before us about how that land might be developed in ways which could meet the Council’s goals for the area,” Mr Johnson says. “We’re working through that as quickly as we can, and we will make an announcement as soon as a decision is made on the preferred proposal.”

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