GBD to pay share of costs

Golden Block Developments, a private investment company and half-owner of the Penrose Building, will pay its share of the redevelopment to accommodate the expanded Fisher and Paykel Appliances workforce.

Golden Block Developments (GBD) director Jason La Hood contacted the Otago Daily Times yesterday to assure Dunedin city ratepayers the company would contribute to the upgrade and would not leave it all to the Dunedin City Council, the other half-owner of the building.

Golden Block Investments, the owner of the building, has 10 million shares, with more than 50% owned by GBD and less than 50% owned by the council.

Both entities have two directors each on the board but GBD has overall control by owning two more shares than the council.

The council and GBD would pay half each of the Penrose upgrade. The majority of the council's costs are expected to come through the changes to its Wall Street complex.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull on Monday announced the council would spend $2.3 million to help Fisher and Paykel Appliances create 65 extra jobs by providing extra office space in the Wall Street complex, including an opening through to the Penrose Building, upgrading the Penrose Building and making a contribution to tenant relocation costs.

Fisher and Paykel Appliances, the company owned by Chinese Whiteware giant Haier, would contribute a similar amount.

Mr La Hood said he did the deal as a director of GBD. The other directors were not available, but he was in contact with them.

''It was right and proper for us to pay something. When we knew 70 jobs were at stake, I said, `Let's do it'. It is good for the city and good for the CBD.

''We knew when putting the deal together we had to make it as smooth as possible - cut through the red tape.''

Without them moving quickly, the deal could have fallen over, he said.

Golden Block Developments also had an interest in the Golden Centre Mall.

Mr La Hood declined to reveal how much money his company was contributing to the upgrade but said it was nowhere near $1 million. However, the company was also contributing to the relocation costs of tenants on the first floor of the building. The upgrade would require some changes to the upstairs layout.

He was not sure whether the financing would come out of company reserves or whether GBD directors, which include property developer Tony Clear, would contribute personally.



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