Wall Street redevelopment for F&P expansion

Dunedin's Wall Street mall is to be redeveloped to cater for an expansion of Fisher & Paykel's operation in the city, which is expected to provide about 70 jobs.

  • Full details in tomorrow's Otago Daily Times 

The whiteware company wants to extend its existing lease of office and laboratory space in the Dunedin City Council-owned Wall Street complex in George Street.

This is to provide the design and call centre with capacity for a total of 230 staff, enabling the continuation of a growth plan that will see a 40% increase in design staff numbers by 2018.

"This kind of development is exactly what the city needs and lines up with Dunedin's Economic Development Strategy, which aims to support high-tech industries and create more knowledge economy jobs," Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said.

The expansion means the DCC will invest up to $2.3 million to provide extra office space in the Wall Street complex (including a break through to the Penrose building), upgrade the Penrose building, make a contribution to tenant relocation costs. It will receive additional rental.

Fisher & Paykel Dunedin site manager Richard Butler said today's announcement was a continuation of the research and development growth plans announced in February last year.

"As we expand our research and development facilities, it is vital that all our activities are able to be accommodated in a shared space. The current site is well-suited to meet our needs and we were keen to remain there rather than shift to another location in the city.

"The design and central location of the Wall Street building have enabled us to build a high quality, creative space that is close to our customers and very convenient for staff.

"Our expansion plans, in partnership with the Dunedin City Council, will mean that we can enhance the aspects of the facility that work so well for us currently, as well as growing those areas that need increased capacity.

"In the next few weeks we expect to be in a position to provide more detail on our expansion plans," Mr Butler says.

DCC acting chief executive Tony Avery said the growth of the design centre would bring more people into the central city and add to the vitality of the area.

An economic impact report predicts wider economic benefits for Dunedin of up to $11 million.

A building consent application is expected shortly.


I'm confused

David: I'm confused - just below I characterised this F&P deal as "A Positive Move" - how does this mean I'm against it? - obviously high value design jobs like this are exactly the sort of jobs we should try and create and retain in Dunedin


It should be obvious to all that any negative commentary here is not directed at the creation of new jobs.

Instead it is, quite correctly, directed at the apparent conflict of interest of a TLA acting as a consenting authority for a non-complying activity with District Plan, whilst also acting as property developer of same activity.

While that conflict (at least perceived) remains, there will be a chilling effect on the private development which Dunedin desperately needs. 

Obscure relevance

Nothing wrong with my arithmetic. If you read and digest my comment you'll note that I'm not disputing the fact that F&P are increasing their workforce; what I'm stating is that F&P are the catalyst. IUt is they that are generating the extra jobs, nothing to do with the premises that they currently lease.

Perhaps the lessee is willing to match the council contribution as their rental is such a pittance that they'd be mad to move.

Wall St should be subject to additional scrutiny given that it competes directly with private landowners/investors.


Which jobs are good for Dunedin?

David asks: "Can MikeStk or anyone else against every good development idea please enlighten us on which jobs are good for Dunedin then?"  

If he has read many of MikeStk's comments I'm surprised he has not already noticed how many times these have been advocated.  MikeStk thinks we should have more high-value jobs whereby we earn money from outside Dunedin, better still from outside NZ, instead of passing a dwindling amount of money around among ourselves.  He has expressed this in more detail, unfortunately I could only find this example without spending time than the bleedin' obvious deserves.

"If you want real economic development you invest in companies that will provide lots of high wage jobs, companies that will employ the best and brightest from the Uni, keeping them here, in the local economy" (from MikeStk's post ) 

Anti this, anti that

Can MikeStk or anyone else against every good development idea please enlighten us on which jobs are good for Dunedin then? Can't win!

Reading the article

Autonomouse: Some arithmetic - "Since then, the number of staff based in Dunedin had grown to about 165 - 135 in the design centre and 30 call centre staff " and "The redevelopment would allow F&P's Dunedin personnel to grow to 230 in total, with most of the 65 extra staff to be recruited within the next four years " = 65 jobs 

As for moving, I refer to F&P: "As we expand our research and development facilities, it is vital that all our activities are able to be accommodated in a shared space. The current site is well-suited to meet our needs and we were keen to remain there rather than shift to another location in the city." 

This seems to be at the behest of the tenant, and like any landlord the DCC wants to keep a good tenant. The tenant is also matching the money from the DCC which indicates they really want to stay put because its a suitable place for them, and that with the sum involved they are likely to be there much longer than the extension to their lease.

If the council didn't act like any other landlord would in making the required alterations for a good tenant, it would be said the council lost a good tenant and was doing nothing to help and retain businesses. 

Commercial realities

I don't believe for a second that the Wall Street expansion has resulted in more jobs.  All it's done in enabled council to retain F&P as a tenant, as if a premises doesn't suit a tenant, they simply look for a new premises that does. 

The soon to be vacated Silver Fern Farm offices within the redeveloped Harvest Court complex may well have fit the bill nicely, and imagine the egg on Council face if yet another whopping great big hole appeared within their premier property "investment".

Given the rental rates on offer for office space within Dunedin, investing in excess of $2m for what will be a very modest rate of return does not make financial sense, this is all about saving face.

Is Councillor Culvert able to make comment to this regard?  She'd be the only one within Council Chambers with the fiscal intelligence regarding such matters so if she's in favour then I'd gladly reverse my opinion.

Two things (ok, maybe a little more than that...)

You can pretty much bet QCRC was taking the p__s.

And you can pretty much guarantee that MikeStK will try to weave almost every post and thread he (or, she) comments on, on this forum to - somehow - the multi-purpose facility called FBS, that s/he insists on calling the 'rugby stadium'. S/he's maintained that very, very consistent theme since 2011.

Looking back, what real impact has it had? What have the posts, comments and thoughts s/he's had against the FBS really helped change? Nothing, or essentially nothing.

Mike, as I've said before I believe you're an intelligent person who exhibits strategic thought. But at some point, do you feel that it may be time to accept the umpires' call, and move on from what has been a consistent anti-everything-to-do-with-FBS? You've penned tens of thousands of words against the FBS on this forum, plus Lord knows how many more words, on other forums. We understand your POV but, they've come to nought. 

The Umpire offered their judgement three years ago. Like it, or loathe it: the FBS is there and no amount of on-line posturing will change that fact. 

Yes Mr Chairman!

I see the negative comments are already under way. Way to go Dunedin!

A positive move

Qsrc: Your DAPL group doesn't seem to be very useful. As a spokesperson for them you continue to support shutting down our social institutions and chasing away good developments like this one. I hope you'll learn to become a bit more understanding of the basic economics that underpin our local economy and stop poo-pooing developments like this one. F&P is a company that brings wealth into our economy from elsewhere, leaving us with a net financial positive compared with. say, rugby stadiums.

Having said this, we should be careful that the DCC is managing our money well. Whenever I've moved into new premises it's normal to get your landlord to contribute a portion of the fit-out costs, so I expect the DCC to spend money as part of this process. The real question is whether the DCC will profit from this move over the lifetime of the contract - just as any private sector landlord would expect to do.

The anti brigade surface again

Yeah sure, 70 jobs won't add anything to the economy... Just 70 x $50,000 = $3,500,000 per year... or 230 x $50,000  - $11,500,000 per year into the pockets of locals by keeping them all here. And that's conservative.

Economic impact

An economic impact report predicts wider economic benefits for Dunedin of up to $11 million.

Brought to you by the same people who brought you the economic impact of the stadium. Does anyone believe those economic impact reports anymore? 

PS: Wall St is a retail development.  Does anyone even believe the District Plan anymore either?

I await with interest comment from Chris Staynes.

DAPL unite

We dont want this! Who's paying for it? 70 jobs? Take them elsewhere.

Will it fit in with our "historical" buildings? No way! It may provide growth and stimulation to our local economy - that is unacceptable.


Good news F&P

Tony Avery says: "An economic impact report predicts wider economic benefits for Dunedin of up to $11 million".

Will this be available for public perusal ?

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