Showgrounds Hill Development Sale and Purchase Agreement issued
Timaru District Holdings Limited released the sale and purchase agreement documents for the sale of Showgrounds Hill, nearly 18 months after they were signed.
The board’s holding company, which completed the sale of the 9.9-hectare unconditional 12-hectare site to Auckland-based developer Redwood Group in December last year for $ 6.4 million, has released copies heavily drafted of the sale and purchase agreement at Thing under the Law on Official Information and Meetings of Local Government (LGOIMA).
The original sale and purchase agreement was signed in October 2019, a revised agreement was issued in October 2020.
Thing requested the information under the LGOIMA in February 2021. The TDHL initially refused, citing “commercial sensitivity”, but finally released a heavily redacted copy of the agreement on April 27.
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Several clauses, which would have revealed what is and is not allowed on the site, have been redacted – although the document says banks, cinemas, offices and accommodation establishments will not be allowed to open for development.
He also specifies that during the first phase of development, there would be no more than nine retailers on the site, while no occupant of the business should have an area of less than 600 m².
A tavern, included in a proposal for the second stage of development, is also mentioned in the agreement.
He says that “the sale or supply of alcohol is prohibited at the tavern before April 2025”.
Key public interest information that has been redacted includes certain types of tenants that do not require TDHL to grant a lease, details of buyout agreements, the purchase price of the remaining lots and the minimum size of the business. retail on the remaining lots.
TDHL chairman Ian Fitzgerald said he had negotiated hard to include provisions in the agreement regarding future events such as settlements and the parties’ continued performance obligations.
“These protect the business and the community by ensuring that desired results are achieved,” said Fitzgerald.
“It is important that the mechanisms of these remain confidential for the benefit of the TDHL and to ensure that the commercial negotiating position of the parties is not compromised.
“This is normal business practice and we would not be in compliance with our legal responsibilities as a business organization if we had not redacted this information.”
Timaru CBD Group chairman Nigel Gilkison, who opposed the development of Showgrounds Hill, said he remained skeptical.
“When TDHL informed the CBD Group that it had sold the Showgrounds site at the end of 2019, we were reassured that restrictions would be put in place that would see a maximum number of nine retail units, the minimum size of the Retail store would be no smaller than 600 square meters and they would prevent the developer from targeting existing stafford St retailers, ”said Gilkison.
Gilkison said he was surprised that TDHL decided to publish some of the requirements, but not all.
“This is where the rubber meets the road. Therefore, I am not entirely convinced that TDHL has accepted certain promises, ”he said.
“It’s interesting that TDHL has chosen to release this information now, but the conditions TDHL said it has in place to protect CBD are missing, or remain redacted.
Gilkison said that by reviewing the developer’s latest plans submitted as resource consent, he was offering 22 retail units on the site when completed, with 12 of them measuring less than 600m2.
“It’s very confusing, either they’re not going to apply the conditions or there have been other conditions that have been redacted.”
“We also hear that several existing CBD retailers have been approached to move into Showgrounds development.”
Gilkison hoped TDHL would stick to its stated position and apply these safeguards to ensure that CBD was not affected by this new development in retail.
Timaru Downtown Taxpayer Action Group (TCRAG) spokesperson Shaun Stockman said “anything that gave me confidence seems to have been redacted.”
“TDHL’s primary stakeholder is us, the taxpayer,” Stockman said.
TDHL purchased the 12ha Showgrounds land in 2017 as a “strategic purchase” for $ 6.296 million.
To date, developer Redwood Group has confirmed Bunnings Warehouse, Countdown, and Black & White Coffee Cartel as tenants for the site.
Resource permissions were granted to the Redwood Group without public notification in December.