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Media Releases
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Turners and Growers development proposal agreed

8 April 2005

Christchurch City Council has agreed to a Development Agreement with Urban Winery Holdings Ltd (UWH) which provides for UWH to purchase part of the block of land known as the Turners and Growers site and develop a “central city urban village”.

Once the Development Agreement is signed UWH would have six months to prepare a Development Plan which would contain detailed plans and specifications of the proposed development, including the company’s proposed building programme and arrangements to secure finance for the project.

The purchase price paid by UWH would be at least $6 million with the ultimate return to the Council depending on the value of subsequent property sales. Payment would be spread over a period of up to five years.

The original Turners and Growers site, which comprised 17,546m2, was purchased by Council in July 2002 for $3.68 million. Since that time Council has received revenue from the site of $1.09 million.
Under this proposal the area to be purchased would be 13,100m2  (note: on the original purchase price this would equate to $2.7 million)  which includes 810m2 for the through way and 2,620m2 for the village green but excludes the public space which would be retained by Council (see attached plans).

Once completed the estimated $80 million development could return between $200,000 and $300,000 per year in rates to the city.

The Council would contribute $2.5 million to the project and surrounding area by:

• The demolition of existing buildings and site clearance including the removal of possible contaminated soil
• Applying funds committed to an “inner city park” for landscaping of the public space and village green
• Adjacent street improvements which will occur during the life of the project and would have been undertaken irrespective of the proposal

Last November, the Council accepted UWH as the preferred bidder. UWH has worked with Council staff to produce more detailed plans and the agreement for development.

Dave Hinman, Council’s Central City Team Leader, says the proposal provides for residential accommodation, a hotel with operating winery, a retail market square, basement car parking, and a public space which runs between Lichfield and Tuam Streets, opens on to a “village area” and connects to Madras Street with a through way.

“UWH have provided a design which complies as fully as possible with planning requirements to minimise the risk of delays to the project which could occur if resource consent applications were required,” Mr Hinman said.

“However, UWH is keen to work with neighbouring property owners to ensure a design which takes into account their current activities and planned developments.”

The Council has rezoned the area around the Turners and Growers site to allow residential development to occur. This proposal is seen as a catalyst for further development in the area.

 “This is another step in revitalising our central city. It’s a proposal which both complements and integrates with what’s happening in the area, particularly Lichfield Lanes and links into High Street,” says Garry Moore, Mayor of Christchurch.

“It successfully meets the objectives the Council and Central City Mayoral Forum had for the site.  Not only will it help to increase the number of people living in the central city, it has the makings of a unique attraction in the eastern part of our central city for residents and visitors to Christchurch.”

UWH expect the development to take between five and seven years depending on the actual rate of demand for residential accommodation.

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