The Dunedin City Council will
make a loss once Carisbrook is sold, and has been hit with
another bill for holding costs from the old stadium
approaching $1 million, it has been revealed.
Sources yesterday confirmed the council had signed a
conditional agreement to sell the old sports stadium to
building company Calder Stewart, in a complex deal said to be
worth about $3.5 million.
Calder Stewart staff were not commenting yesterday, referring
all media questions to the council, and Dunedin Mayor Dave
Cull again refused to confirm specific details of the stadium
However, pressed on whether the council would cover its costs
once all Carisbrook properties owned by the council were
sold, he relented.
''Yes, it looks likely council will make a loss,'' he said.
He would not say by how much, insisting that risked divulging
details of the conditional sale agreement signed by the
It was confirmed on Tuesday the council had a conditional
deal to sell the stadium to an unnamed buyer for an
Mr Cull has since refused to comment on the details, saying
more information would be made public only after the deal was
unconditional in ''weeks or months''.
In the meantime, the council was looking after ratepayers'
interests by not jeopardising the sale, he said yesterday.
However, the Otago Daily Times understands the council
could be left about $100,000 short once all properties were
The council bought the stadium, eight surrounding homes and
car park for $7 million in 2009, but has since sold the homes
for $692,000 and half the car park - to an undisclosed buyer
- for $727,000.
It had also recouped a $2 million loan to the Otago Rugby
Football Union, meaning about $3.6 million was outstanding
before the conditional deal with Calder Stewart.
The council was also in negotiations to sell the remaining
half of the car park, but Mr Cull did not hold out hope that
sale would bridge the gap and cover purchase costs of $7
''Even with the best case scenario, it seems likely the
council will make a loss on the overall deal,'' he said.
When asked yesterday, council acting chief executive Tony
Avery also refused to ''confirm or deny'' Calder Stewart was
the buyer, or the $3.5 million figure, that despite national
media reports of the identity of the buyer, and suggestions
the council stood to lose ''millions'' in the deal - a claim
Mr Avery described as ''unfortunate''.
However, he confirmed the council had accrued $860,000 in
holding costs in the four years since buying Carisbrook in
That was well above the $200,000 bill made public by council
city property manager Robert Clark last November. Mr Clark
was not commenting yesterday, but Mr Avery could not explain
the discrepancy other than to suggest a possible
''I'm not clear what question he was responding to.''
The bill for holding costs included rates, maintenance,
insurance, water, electricity, property management and
security costs, as well as ''advisory'' costs (legal fees and
surveying costs) as the council prepared to sell the stadium.
Other costs had been met by the ORFU following the council's
purchase of the stadium, until the union quit the site in
Mr Avery said holding costs of about $200,000 to $250,000 a
year had been expected, and were covered by city property
There was no plan to recoup the bill, which reflected the
extended time the council had ended up owning the stadium, he
''[The] council's been up front about wanting to pursue the
sale of Carisbrook, and obviously reducing its holding costs
was a factor.''
Despite repeated requests, nobody would say yesterday what
was planned for Carisbrook, other than an industrial
development in line with its industrial zoning.
Mr Avery said the buyer would have ''some plan, presumably'',
but he could not say whether they planned to demolish
everything on the site, or keep parts of it.
''What they decide to do is up to them.''