Brewery deal may settle dispute

Richard Emerson (left) and Bob King, of Emerson's Brewery, at the Hall Bros and Dunedin City Council land the brewery is in negotiations to buy. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Richard Emerson (left) and Bob King, of Emerson's Brewery, at the Hall Bros and Dunedin City Council land the brewery is in negotiations to buy. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Emerson's Brewery is set to buy adjoining properties owned by the Dunedin City Council and Cr Doug Hall - and could then spend about $6 million developing a brewery there.

Emerson's has signed conditional purchase agreements with Mr Hall and the council, covering the two titles.

If the deals go through, the brewery would shift a few hundred metres from its current Wickliffe St property to the new site in two years.

The DCC and Cr Hall have been involved in a long-running access dispute over the land, at the intersection of Anzac Ave and Frederick St, in Dunedin.

The wrangle has already cost the council more than $570,000 and has been scheduled for an Environment Court hearing.

DCC general manager infrastructure and networks Tony Avery and Emersons' general manager Bob King yesterday said an agreement to resolve the dispute would hopefully be finalised during the due diligence period, in coming months.

Mr Avery said the council and Mr Hall had agreed to delay a scheduled Environment Court hearing next week until October, ''hoping we might resolve the issue''.

Mr Hall could not be contacted yesterday. Earlier in the week he declined to comment, telling the Otago Daily Times he was bound by a confidentiality agreement.

The 22-year-old Emerson's Brewery, bought by liquor giant Lion for $8 million in November 2012, is soon to install four new tanks at its current Wickliffe St site.

That work would enable production to be boosted from about 1 million litres of beer a year to 1.5 million litres.

Brewery founder Richard Emerson said he had looked at several Dunedin sites and was pleased to be staying in the city - and expanding.

''This is our spiritual home. The emphasis [of negotiations] has been securing the site. I'm sick of moving the brewery,'' Mr Emerson said of what would be the brewery's fourth relocation.

With Lion's North Island distribution channels, demand had increased, driven by an ''insatiable appetite'' for Emerson's in Auckland, prompting the company last December to defer taking on new customers.

The land area at its present leased site was 1600sq m, and the new site would be about 14,000sq m.

Mr Hall has been in dispute with the council over access to his land for three years, after realignment of State Highway 88 during Forsyth Barr Stadium's construction.

In August 2011, Mr Hall obtained a High Court injunction preventing the council turning on the intersection's traffic lights because of his concerns over safe access.

It is expected that, if the deal with Emerson's goes ahead, the lights will become operational.

The council originally designated some of Mr Hall's property for the new road before realigning the road around his property in 2010 without notifying him, affecting his access.

The council had set aside a further $550,000 in its draft 2014-15 budget for a new road access into Mr Hall's property.

- simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

 

The new section around SH88

The new section around SH88 essentially 'created' the eyesore. Before the illegal realignment nobody gave a damn about the state of Doug Hall's yard.

Thankfully the realignment of DCC management that has taken place in the last few years may lessen the inequitous and illegal realignment of peoples lives and income the stadium debacle created.

Productivity equals eyesore

Ccotago  joins the lace-curtain brigade who grump about Everitts metal recycling, "Dunedin would be rid of the eyesore that is the Hall Bros. current site."  Isn't it awful!  Some industries really ought to exist - if they must exist at all - behind high walls painted with cute kittens with people in designer clothing, in case anyone gets the idea that in Dunedin some people do messy necessary work.  Why don't Everitts do the decent thing and convert their yard into a cafe with indoor-outdoor (smokefree of course) flow with tables set among native plants lest people driving on the motorway get the impression that we're not sophisticated?  Why don't Halls relocate somewhere so far out of the way that nobody can see the depot?  No matter that it may take more time and fuel to work from there, it's better than people having to see plant and personnel in boots and work clothing that does not project Dunedin as the home of high-fashion designer.  Another thing, why aren't those trucks electric-powered and fitted with solar panels?  I hope Jinty et al pressure Halls to install windmills at their new premises.  Attractive designer windmills, of course. 

Goodbye eyesore

This would be great news if it comes off, as Dunedin would be rid of the eyesore that is the Hall Bros. current site.   

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