No progress on Carisbrook as weeds take hold

The overgrown site of the old Carisbrook Rugby Ground as it was in mid-May. Photo: Peter McIntosh.
The overgrown site of the old Carisbrook Rugby Ground as it was in mid-May. Photo: Peter McIntosh.
The wait continues for an end to the eyesore of Carisbrook.

The former South Dunedin stadium site, now home to a collection of rubble and weeds, has been an unsightly mess on the city’s southern entrance since being demolished for new owners Calder Stewart in 2014.

The company has since declined to discuss its plans for the site in detail, and council staff have reported no signs of progress towards a development.

That was despite Calder Stewart development director Alan Stewart suggesting, in June, the company was working on a major development deal for the site, and "should be in a position to update some positive progress over the next month or so".

The silence has continued since then, with council staff yesterday reporting that no building or resource consent applications for the site had been lodged.

Mr Stewart himself did not respond to a request for an update on Friday afternoon.

Emails between council staff, Calder Stewart and their lawyers, covering the period since the purchase, also provided few signs of progress.

The documents were released to the Otago Daily Times on Friday following an official information request.

One email, from Colliers commercial real estate staff to council staff in May 2014, raised the prospect of a potential buyer looking for a 4-5ha site "with the possibility of getting a rail siding into the site".

"Can you think of any possibilities that could work?" said the email from Dean Collins, of Colliers, at the time.

"Carisbrook?" came back the reply from council property manager Tim Buchanan.

Another, also from Mr Buchanan, floated the prospect of "large industrial warehouse sheds" on site, as well as a pocket park around the Neville St turnstile building, with information about the history of Carisbrook.

The emails also detailed concerns about vandalism of the turnstile building, and a series of exchanges relating to Calder Stewart’s interest-only payments on its $3.1 million purchase price, before the full payment was settled in June this year.

Council staff have since confirmed a conservation plan for the turnstile building was being developed, and a timetable for the project would follow.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Comments

Calder Stewart, why did you buy this land? Is it uranium bearing? Are you looking after The cricketer's ashes? What is the purpose of your investment?

(Please don't send me your calendar in future).

 

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