Big step for City Rail Link

Britomartstationdrawing_620x310Auckland Council recently announced a big step forward in its City Rail Link project, revealing details of the deal struck with listed landlord Precinct Properties to have underground tunnels built near the waterfront, under a new $550 million glass skyscraper.

Mayor Len Brown described the deal as a milestone and an historic moment for Auckland.

Britomartstationdesign_620x310“This is the first step towards the construction of the CRL. It will lead to an exciting transformation of the public spaces around the Britomart train station area. And it’s an example of how a partnership with the private sector can deliver economic transformation and more jobs in Auckland,” he has just announced.

He also released new images of the Britomart station and a map showing where the tunnels would run.

New rail tunnels must be constructed through the site now occupied by the Downtown Shopping Centre, which Precinct owns, the statement said.

Precinct also owns two adjacent commercial office towers – HSBC Tower at 1 Queen Street and Zurich House at 21 Queen Street, it said.

The deal between the two parties enables the rail tunnels to be built as part of the Downtown Development Project. Elements involved include the sale to Precinct of part of Queen Elizabeth Square for $27.2 million; Payment to Precinct of $9 million for provision of an East-West pedestrian laneway between Queen Street and Albert Street and compensation for tunnels volume; Payment of $10.7 million for additional costs of office tower construction due to CRL tunnels; and the creation of a new downtown civic space between the project and Britomart, the statement said.

Mr Brown said the deal meant a coordinated approach could now be taken to the construction work, with Auckland Transport building the CRL tunnels either side of the Precinct downtown shopping centre site from Britomart to Wyndham Street and Precinct Properties building the tunnels below its site.


  • NZ Herald

$550m tower for Auckland CBD

PRECINCT_Downtown_FerrNZX giant listed landlord Precinct Properties has announced details of its $550 million Downtown skyscraper for Auckland’s CBD and a deal to pay Auckland Council $27.2 million for part of Queen Elizabeth Square.

Scott Pritchard, Precinct chief executive, released the first images of the huge new 36-level glass tower to be built on what is now the Downtown Westfield site between the square, Lower Albert St, Customs St East and Quay St.

The decision means one of the final hurdles to the planned City Rail Link has now been cleared.

Precinct’s 1900 sqm square purchase is conditional on successful rezoning of the land which includes the road stopping process and a plan change so commercial development on what is now public land can go ahead, Precinct said in an investor presentation released to the NZX this morning.

“Auckland Council will use funds to provide alternate public space,” Precinct said, also citing “an agreement with Auckland Council to provide an east-west pedestrian laneway through the Downtown development, linking key transport infrastructure.”

Precinct is only buying part of the square – the area where the volcano fire/fountain now stands outside Whitcoulls, between the HSBC Tower and the Zurich block.

Longer-term council plans are to abolish the busy road which now runs through the centre of that square on public land and shift buses further into Britomart and a block west to Lower Albert St.

Precinct aims to begin building its giant glass skyscraper next year and has also struck a deal with Auckland Transport, so tunnels for the City Rail Link are built, ready for that big public project to proceed.

Pritchard said the skyscraper’s costs have risen 10 per cent from $400 million-$500 million to $550 million due to plans for a larger building as well as construction cost escalations.

Auckland Transport will pay Precinct $9 million compensation for the tunnels’ volume and a further $10.7 million for the additional costs of the developer straddling the land with its piles for the enormous tower.

Precinct described that last aspect of the deal as “payment of additional costs of office tower construction due to CRL tunnels $10.7 million.”

All that provides Precinct with the ability to proceed with its Downtown tower development and it said it also reduced the CRL costs to Auckland Transport.


  • NZ Herald
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