year on from the sale of Carisbrook and the diggers have
gone, taking the grandstands with them and leaving behind a
vacant lot full of muddy puddles and unanswered questions.
Chris Morris reports.
The turnstiles that once ushered fans on to a field of dreams
now stand silently beside a muddy wasteland in the middle of
But, one year on from the sale of Carisbrook, signs of
progress for the redevelopment of the former stadium site
remain as elusive as ever.
The former sports ground's grandstands and playing surface
have gone, and so, too, have the mechanical excavators,
leaving behind only muddy puddles and rubble behind a
But what - if anything - will eventually rise from the mud
remains a closely guarded secret that the ground's new owner,
construction company Calder Stewart, is still not prepared to
Repeated requests by the Otago Daily Times for
interviews or updates have gone unanswered, or been rebuffed,
by the company since last year.
And, contacted yesterday, Calder Stewart development director
Alan Stewart remained tight-lipped, saying he was not yet
prepared to discuss details of any potential developments on
Mr Stewart would only say the company continued to ''evaluate
development options'' for the property, and was discussing
plans with ''a number of parties who may potentially occupy
''These are commercial discussions which are not a matter
we'd disclose to the media without client approval.''
Dunedin City Council staff, contacted yesterday, also
confirmed they were yet to receive any applications for
building or resource consent for the site.
The council was also yet to receive any of the $3.3 million
sale price agreed last year, with terms which gave Calder
Stewart up to three years to pay.
Instead, the company had made interest-only payments on the
amount owing, amounting to $79,562, for the period to
December 31 last year, council financial controller Maree
A second payment, covering interest for the period to June 30
this year, was now due and was in the process of being
invoiced, she said.
Otherwise, council staff were also in the dark about the
company's plans, council infrastructure and networks general
manager Tony Avery confirmed.
And, down at ground level, the only real sign of activity at
the site has been the demolition of the old stadium itself.
A subdivision consent issued by the council in November last
year also allowed the historic Neville St Stand turnstile
building to be separated from the rest of the site and
The company's $200,000 bond - paid to the council on top of
the sale price - had also been refunded, after Calder Stewart
complied with a condition to demolish the old ground's
grandstands by the end of last year.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said at the time the condition was
designed to encourage the company to ''get on with it'', as
''from the city or the community's point of view, nobody
wants the thing sitting there mouldering away forever''.
Contacted yesterday, Mr Cull said his comments last year
related to the removal of the stadium's grandstands, not the
redevelopment of the cleared site, and he did not want to
criticise Calder Stewart.
He was yet to hear ''anything'' else about the company's
plans, and did not expect to, but the council had been given
an assurance the site would not simply be ''land banked'' by
''We all want development there as fast as possible ... It is
only a year. I hope their plans can come to fruition as soon
Mr Stewart did not respond to specific questions about any
time frame the company was working towards for the site.
Instead, when asked, he would only say: ''When we're in a
position to provide further information, I'm happy to