1493337042031 - Wellington ratepayers to reap $1.5m a year from development of Shelly Bay

Wellington ratepayers to reap $1.5m a year from development of Shelly Bay

Wellington ratepayers will be $1.5 million richer every year if a $500m development of Shelly Bay proceeds, the council says.

If public consultation on the plan this month is favourable and Wellington City Council decides to sell its land at the run-down Miramar Peninsula site to developers then construction could start as early as next year, and be complete in a decade.

Plans for the $500m development include 350 new properties made up of a 140-resident rest home, a boutique hotel with about 50 rooms, 280 apartments, 58 townhouses and 14 standalone houses.

A ferry service, cafes, bars, shops, and upgraded public areas, including a village green and possibly a brewery, have also been mooted.

* Council poised to sell Shelly Bay land for ‘fraction’ of its true value
* Ratepayers asked to share infrastructure costs for Shelly Bay
* Public will be asked for opinion on sale of council land at Shelly Bay

Three key heritage buildings – Shed 9, the Shipwrights and Officers’ Mess buildings – will be retained

The project is expected to inject $396m of economic benefits into the Wellington economy during the construction period, according to council documents.

The final financial impact on ratepayers will depend on commercial negotiations. But the council estimates it will be about $1.75m better off during the project and will rake in $1.5m each year thereafter from an increase in rates.

In an effort to push along the project, Wellington City Council is proposing to lease or sell its hectare of waterfront holdings to joint-venture company, Shelly Bay Limited (SBL), for $7.8m.

A commercial valuation of the council’s land at Shelly Bay put its value at $10m, but it plans to retain about $2m of that for the public spaces, such as parks.

SBL is owned by Wellington Company director Ian Cassels and the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (PNBST), which owns the 4.5ha of land at Shelly Bay.

The resource consent application, which was approved on April 18, was filed under the Housing Accords Special Housing Areas Act, which fast-tracks housing projects.

Developers normally take on the expense of building the public infrastructure, but in the case of Shelly Bay, that cost will be shared between the developers and ratepayers.

Council officers said a joint approach to funding the infrastructure was the best way to ensure the area also featured open and green space for all Wellingtonians to enjoy.

The council was requiring a high standard of public amenity in an area where there had been considerable under-investment on its part, officers said.

The amount ratepayers would contribute was subject to ongoing commercial negotiations and a percentage breakdown of who paid for what, would not be released to the public.

The ratepayer contribution towards the infrastructure could be offset by the income from the sale and leasing of land, and uplift in rates from the newly developed homes and businesses, the council said.

Wellington Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle said doing nothing at Shelly Bay was not an option for the council.

The basic upkeep of the council’s land and dilapidated buildings would cost ratepayers about $6.1m over the next 10 years if the land was not sold.

“The economic benefit to cost ratio during the construction of the project is 20 to 1. We think that is a compelling enough case that it’s worth consulting the public on,” he said.

“This area has sat dormant and underutilised for over a decade. A number of developers have tried and been unable to produce a compelling vision for the site. A partnership with iwi will finally allow this area to be revitalised.”

PNBST chairman Wayne Mulligan said the iwi’s aim was to develop Shelly Bay into a must-see destination to make Wellington more prosperous and enjoyable.

“We want to create a legacy for Wellington and for the region. This will be an area with real pull for tourists as well as Wellingtonians. We want to create a place where people can dine, walk, hike, live, bike, visit and stay.”

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