DCC releases investment property portfolio in about-face

Dave Tombs.
Dave Tombs.
The Dunedin City Council has reversed months of opposition and released details of the investment property portfolio it is earmarking for sale.

The council's new commercial and finance general manager, Dave Tombs, has reiterated the possibility of selling ''operational'' assets as well, as the council seeks to raise at least $63million to help fund city investments.

Mr Tombs, who only took up his new role in January, last week released a list comprising the council's $90.4 million investment property portfolio to the Otago Daily Times.

The council had repeatedly declined earlier ODT requests for the list.

That prompted a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsmen last month.

Asked to explain the about-face this week, Mr Tombs said he was confident the publication of the information would not affect the sale price.

The list includes 16 sites, most of them in Dunedin but also spread across Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.

Dunedin's Wall Street Mall is the highest-value of the investment assets, at $29.9million in mid-2017, followed by a Bunnings building at 9 Heriot Dr, in Porirua, Wellington, valued at $12.5million.

The council also owns a string of industrial warehouses in Treffers Rd, Christchurch, together valued at $7.425 million and tenanted by Webco Joinery, NZ Van Lines and Cool Tranz.

Another building in Rosebank Rd, Avondale, in Auckland, is worth $6.925 million and tenanted by GlobalCap NZ and ACR Trading.

The Dunedin buildings' tenants include retailers inside the Wall Street Mall, as well as the Number One Shoes and The Baby Factory stores on the ground floor of the car parking building at 130 Great King St.

Dimension Data is based on the ground floor of the car parking building at 414 lower Moray Pl, while the Sky Fitness gym and residential apartments are located inside the car parking building at 54 Moray Pl.

The GoBus depot is based at 656-658 Princes St, while industrial tenants occupy the other Dunedin buildings, including AB Equipment at 5 Midland St.

Mr Tombs said it was ''a bit premature'' to contact tenants and tell them buildings they leased ''may or may not be sold at any time in the next 10 years''.

The council had not yet decided which properties on
the list, or from its wider portfolio of operational assets, would be sold, or when.

''It's important to realise that we have many options at this stage and we shall, in many respects, be governed by changing market conditions and business needs.

''We are in the favourable position of having several options available to us of achieving this.''

He expected final decisions would be referred back to the council's elected arm for sign-off.

''Selling a property on that scale I'm fairly sure would be a council decision. We would want that ticked off at a higher level.''

The asset sales were designed to help fund the council's proposed $854 million investment plan for the city over the next decade, easing pressure on rates rises.

The spending plan, outlined in the council's latest draft 10-year plan, includes projects such as a $60 million central-city upgrade and a $20 million bridge to the Steamer Basin.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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