Crs consider fate of buildings around city

The roundabout entering Leven St. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The roundabout entering Leven St. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Invercargill city councillors have decided which buildings will stay and go, including to retain the car park at 11 Leven St.

In May this year, councillors requested that under-used, or non-strategic land parcels be presented to a committee for consideration.

During Tuesday’s Community Infrastructure meeting, the fates of the six properties were decided.

The most prominent of the six buildings, the car park at 11 Leven St, will remain council owned after councillors unanimously agreed to retain it.

The building returns $116,000 annually and requires about $50,000 of yearly maintenance costs.

It has a capital value of $6.5 million.

Cr Darren Ludlow said he inquired about getting a parking space in the Leven St car park, but was told there was a seven-month waiting list — though it might be worth looking at hiking its rates to increase revenue.

‘‘If the car parks aren’t empty, I can’t say I’m tremendously supportive of not having them there.

‘‘We almost lost 131 Esk a couple of years ago because because I think the Ministry of Justice were looking at relocating the courts there, but those people who are looking for paid permanent parking, or semi-permanent parking, there aren't that many options — baring in mind there are 700 car parks that just opened up at Invercargill Central, that’s not everybody’s cup of tea either.’’

Councillors also decided against selling the 131 Esk car park, which returned $78,000 a year.

Although Invercargill Deputy Mayor Tom Campbell said the building was a perfect location for apartments, it did not make sense to get rid of the building for its capital value of $790,000, he said.

Committee chairman Ian Pottinger referred to the building as ‘‘very strategic’’ for either development or retaining.

Cr Ria Bond raised that any reclassification of 131 Esk St had first right of refusal from Ngai Tahu as it was taken under the Public Works Act.

Strategic Asset manager Russell Pearson confirmed the council was permitted to use the building for car parking purposes, although if it was to be used for any other purpose, the council would be obliged to negotiate with Ngai Tahu.

Councillors also decided upon retaining 116/30 Deveron St, which has a capital value of $ 270,000.

Cr Lesley Soper also suggested 116 Esk St as a potential site for apartment buildings.

When prompted by Cr Alex Crackett, Cr Pottinger clarified that development of apartment buildings would be done by private developers, rather than the council.

The remaining properties, 313 Bay Rd, 141 Bond St, and 40a Glengarry Crescent, were all decided upon for disposal.