The sale of Carisbrook is at "the contractual stage" as the
Dunedin City Council looks to conclude negotiations with a
buyer, city property manager Robert Clark says.
And, while a deal before Christmas could not be guaranteed,
it was hoped a profit from the sale could yet be made, Mr
Clark said yesterday.
He was in talks with two "substantial" buyers and had been
contacted yesterday by a potential third party.
"We are at the contractual stage with one party where we are
finalising a conditional document, subject to council
approval," he said.
Mr Clark hoped to report on the sale to the council's
property subcommittee by early next month, but any deal would
then be referred to a full council meeting for final
Asked if a sale was possible before Christmas, Mr Clark said
he would "do my very best", but exactly when an unconditional
sale was confirmed would depend on what councillors decided.
The council bought Carisbrook, together with eight nearby
Burns St houses, a shed, and neighbouring land used as a car
park, for $7 million in 2009, once plans to build Forsyth
Barr Stadium were confirmed.
The council had since sold six of the eight houses and the
shed, for about $700,000, and half the car park for an
Yesterday, he said the council still had about $4 million in
debt from the purchase, but he was "hoping to reduce that
shortly" from other sale proceeds - excluding Carisbrook
itself - although he would not elaborate.
Asked if he hoped the sale of Carisbrook, once complete,
would cover whatever debt remained, Mr Clark said: "I'm
looking to achieve more than that."
Talk of selling the ground has continued for more than two
years, and the council has so far incurred about $200,000 in
holding costs since the Otago Rugby Football Unit quit the
ground on October 1 last year.
The council had hoped to sell the ground by then, to avoid
the extra costs, but negotiations proved more time-consuming
than expected - despite potential buyers showing interest as
early as January last year.
The 30,000sq m stadium was zoned industrial. An international
tender process run by property consultant Colliers
International New Zealand had attracted five interested
parties by May this year.
The five included a Dunedin investor and a Dunedin family, an
expatriate with a "substantial amount of money", and two
Mr Clark would not say who remained in the race for the site
He accepted the sale process had taken a long time, but said
that could be normal for "properties of this nature".
"We are selling an old stadium with a whole lot of buildings
on it, which has development potential, in a market and a
world economy which is regarded as mediocre."
There was no one sticking point in the negotiations, but
rather a variety of issues that required "a substantial
amount of negotiation", he said.
Asked if money remained an issue, Mr Clark said that was
"always a negotiating point until the deal is completed".