Stadium property issues near resolution

One of the last outstanding property issues concerned with the Forsyth Barr Stadium is expected to be resolved within the next few days.

The Dunedin City Council needs a piece of land owned by USC Investments Ltd, of Christchurch, to complete its 1.1km, $10 million realignment of State Highway 88, on the eastern side of the stadium.

USC is owned by Earl and Keith Hagaman, who did not return calls.

However, USC director Stuart McLauchlan, of Dunedin, told the Otago Daily Times negotiations were going well and a settlement would occur in "a matter of days".

Council property manager Robert Clark said agreement had been reached in principal, although it had yet to be documented.

Asked why negotiations that were under way in November had still not been concluded, Mr McLauchlan said that was because of people being unavailable, including himself.

"And one of the other shareholders lives in the States."

He said the hold-up was not due to the price being sought for the property.

"I'm not directly in the negotiating but I'm not aware of any issues. I think there's goodwill from both parties to get this thing done."

USC owns 85 Parry St (0.3461h), with a 2007 capital value of $500,000 and 95 Parry St (0.6868h), next door, with a value of $1.3 million.

Mr Hagaman's East Parry Investments Ltd was the owner of land bought by the council for the stadium.

Council transportation operations manager Graeme Hamilton said the time available to have the road completed before the opening of the stadium was "tight".

Tenders for the realignment were scheduled to be called in March.

That had not yet occurred, although work is under way on the bridge across the Leith.

Mr Clark said the council had another couple of agreements to "tidy up" but the USC agreement was "one of the most significant ones".

Acting chief executive Athol Stephens said the New Zealand Transport Agency, which is providing a 65% subsidy for the realignment, had still to "finally sign off".

That might take another week or two.

Mr Stephens said he understood most of the design work had been done.

"So, there's a fairly high degree of readiness as far as we understand. As always with these things, it's just getting people to sign on dotted lines."

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