Stunning stadium pitched for Auckland, sunken into waterfront

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Jaw-dropping concepts for an iconic new national stadium have been pitched to Auckland Council, proposing a state-of-the-art arena be submerged into the city’s waterfront. A portfolio of spectacular designs can be revealed from documents delivered to the office of Auckland Mayor Phil Goff last month. The Herald on Sunday has obtained them through the Local Government Official Information and Meeting Act [LGOIMA].

Dubbed The Crater, the idea centres on a subterranean multi-events venue, inverting conventional design by building below ground rather than above. Created by Auckland design and marketing figure Phil O’Reilly, three potentials factor in a core concept of a sunken bowl-type arena, as well as renderings of a roofed version. A third concept incorporates new cruise ship terminals that would flank the facility, although O’Reilly said the general idea could also work inland if the waterfront was dumped as a location.

Communications through Goff’s office, released through the LGOIMA, show O’Reilly submitted the artist impressions to the office of the Mayor on March 15, accompanied by a written proposal. O’Reilly said as far as he is aware, the submerged venue would be the first of its kind anywhere in the world and was a chance for Auckland to build an iconic landmark that would be recognised the world over – but in keeping with Auckland’s natural volcanic landscape. “We always do something derivative that is quite cool but not quite up to it. This is an opportunity to do something that is truly unique,” O’Reilly said.

Although not as large in scale, likely between 30,000-50,000 capacity, O’Reilly said a truly cutting-edge design could see the Kiwi venue punch way above its weight and become as recognised as some of the most famous on Earth. “You’ve got to think outside the box. Why not put it into the harbour?” O’Reilly said his ideas have not been formally costed, but conversations with industry experts have him adamant that digging down is cheaper than building up. “From my discussions, because there is no need to build an above-ground structure, there are no architectural issues – or costs associated to that,” he said. “It would be cheaper to significantly cheaper, and Aucklanders would love that.”

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The safety of a stadium sunk into open water is also an obvious concern. But O’Reilly was confident rising sea levels as well as natural disasters could be handled. “I would always compare other infrastructure, particularly like Britomart, that’s a great example that has tens of thousands of people going through it each week and is below sea level,” he said. O’Reilly he’d had no word back from Goff’s office beyond an “automatic reply” to his email.

Communications released under LGOIMA show Goff’s office forwarded O’Reilly’s pitch to Council’s venues arm, Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), whose chief executive Chris Brooks responded, acknowledging receipt. An initial study has been commissioned by RFA to examine whether Eden Park should be replaced by a new stadium somewhere in downtown Auckland. An RFA spokesman said that report, which is being prepared by global accounting and advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, “should be through to the mayor sometime within in the next 5-6 weeks”.

When asked for comment on The Crater, RFA said it won’t be considering any specific stadium designs or concepts until a strategy is settled. “As we have previously announced, RFA has engaged professional advisers to work with it on a pre-feasibility study to determine the viability of establishing a purpose-built National Football Stadium (NFS) located in the central city,” a spokesman said.

“The pre-feasibility will determine the viability of central city locations and business scope for a potential stadium.” Goff has previously said Auckland could not afford a white elephant, adding the 50,000-seat Eden Park was limited to 21 night events and could need another $250 million spent on it over the next 15 years.

In March last year, rich-lister and Vodafone Warriors owner Eric Watson pledged to invest in a new stadium for downtown Auckland, believing there were “benefits for Auckland”. Watson also revealed he had already approached other potential investors. Talking to the Herald on Sunday, Watson welcomed O’Reilly’s crater concept, as he eagerly awaits the upcoming PwC report. “I understand the PwC Feasibility Study is not far off but in the meantime it’s great to see options for how a waterfront stadium could work,” Watson said. He said he would support a location that “stacks up financially and is ‘the best option’ in terms of a range of factors”.

That included transport and parking options, commercial opportunities, multi-use options of the venue and “visual appearance”. “Ultimately the location and design that ticks as many boxes and meet as many needs as possible will ultimately be the best option for the city. It will be interesting to see what the PwC Feasibility Study recommends.”

Source:

  • Simon Plumb
  • NZ Herald

 

$3billion fund for Christchurch rebuild

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2008 Beijing Olympic Stadium is a Guoxin past project

Christchurch’s rebuild will get a massive capital injection thanks to a Chinese company creating a $3 billion investment fund for city projects.

Guoxin International Development Company, part of a global firm worth about $500b, said on Wednesday it was committing to raise a $3b fund for investment opportunities in the city’s post quake rebuild and regeneration.

The company was behind the main stadium for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and has constructed railways across China.

Local developer Fred Rahme, who is behind the Silverstream residential subdivision in Kaiapoi and Styx Mill Estate, is leading the company in Christchurch. Rahme, a Guoxin founding partner, said several Christchurch projects had already been identified, but he would not name them.

Once projects went out for tender, Guoxin would submit bids for them.

‘‘We’ve established we do have a part to play and we can really add value. Where else in the world do you have an opportunity to build a new city?’’

Because of the company’s size, it could source materials from China and across the world at a cheaper cost, which could make projects more viable, Rahme said.

Guoxin, the largest tendering and procurement company in China, has completed $750b of projects, mostly governmental and infrastructure developments, in the past 16 years.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel signed a Letter of Cooperation and Friendship between the city council and Guoxin International on Tuesday. The letter is a non-binding agreement, and does not impose any legal or financial obligations or liabilities on the council or Guoxin.

Guoxin has also signed agreements this week with the Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, business advisory firm PwC, ANZ bank and law firm Cavell Leitch.

Dalziel said the move was a generous commitment from a large, reputable Chinese company.

Guoxin was confident it could win in an open tender process, she said. ‘‘I’m excited that our community will have the chance to work alongside this company as we shift our focus from recovery to regeneration.’’

Christchurch City Councillor Raf Manji said securing foreign capital had been a challenge for Christchurch.

‘‘There has been a lot of interest. We’ve had lots of visits over the previous years and we’ve not been able to execute, but we haven’t had the right platforms for investors.’’

The fund would set up a template for investment, Manji said.

‘‘The council’s role is at the political level, which is to roll out the welcome mat and say ‘Christchurch is open for business’.’’

Manji said the Guoxin deal was not exclusive. He hoped it would set the foundation for other investors.

‘‘The council is not responsible for the whole rebuild of the whole city. Our job is to make sure it can happen and we enable investors to come in and do what they need to do.’’

He named the stadium as an example of a project Guoxin might like.

‘‘It’s those type of larger scale projects that would be of interest.’’

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce general manager Leeann Watson said Guoxin was making a significant commitment and the company’s willingness to work with Christchurch people was welcomed.

Source:

  • Tina Law
  • The Press
  • Photo: Reuters

Canterbury construction $4 billion and rising

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Metro Sports Facility

Construction spending in Christchurch has hit more than $4 billion thanks to large builds like the planned new Metro Sports Facility.

A million dollars is being spent on construction in Canterbury every two hours – and spending is still rising.

While residential building work has decreased for the first time in three years, commercial and public construction is ramping up, according to Statistics New Zealand.

More than $4.3 billion has been spent on building work in the region in the past year. The dollars going into non-residential construction have jumped 14.6  per cent in the last quarter, after increasing steadily over the past year as the rebuild ramps up.

Neil Kelly, building figures manager for Statistics New Zealand, said while many houses had already been replaced or repaired, commercial construction was still gathering speed.

“You only have to count the cranes. There’s a lot of big stuff going on and those big projects are boosting the numbers.”

Its figures translated to $83 million a week going into Canterbury’s construction industry, or nearly $12m a day.

They came from  its work in place survey, which measures the value of new residential and non-residential building, as well as alterations big enough to need consent. It does not include internal refurbishments or minor renovations, or non-building construction such as roads and other infrastructure.

Leighs Construction managing director Anthony Leighs said the commercial market was the busiest it had been in the post-quake environment.

“What we’re seeing in there’s probably the highest level of activity in the market at the moment than there’s ever been… from the total number of buildings being built across the city.”

Leighs believed the momentum would “remain very solid” for two to three more years.

The company’s “top of the pops projects” at the moment were “massive”, including the BNZ and ANZ centres, and the Burwood Hospital rebuild.

Hawkins Construction South Island regional manager Steve Taw agreed, saying the rebuild was “likely to continue at this current rate for at least another 12 months”.

He said the projects the company were working on were likely to be adding to the “ever increasing spend in the Christchurch commercial construction market”, but it was planned and not unexpected.

“It is pleasing to see confidence in our central city increasing with a number of projects in full swing.”

Ian Smith, head of project management company Building Intelligence Group in Christchurch, said while the central city skyline was full of private developers’ cranes, internal work on those buildings and the public sector spend was yet to come.

Rather than peaking , the rebuild would plateau as big projects such as they city’s new central library, Metro sports centre and convention centre got underway.

“There’s going to be quite a lot of money spent on all those buildings.”

Smith said while there were “hot spots” in construction such as the need for structural steel, the market would supply enough materials and labour in most areas.

“By and large the market has responded so far, and met demand.”

Source:

  • The Press

More funds for anchor project

sports-03The Government is pledging additional money to Christchurch’s metro sports facility but will not reveal how much.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced Tuesday Cabinet had agreed to increase Crown contribution to the major anchor project, above the $70.3 million planned in the 2013 cost sharing agreement with the Christchurch City Council.

The council committed $147m to the project.

“To ensure maintenance of a competitive tendering process, we won’t be revealing the agreed financial cap on the Crown’s commitment to delivery of the facility at this time,” Brownlee said.

While the design of the facility was still to take place, the agreed funding package meant it would include:

– An indoor aquatic hall with a 79m, 10-lane competition pool and spectator seating for 1000 people

– A 10m diving tower and warm water pool

– A learn-to-swim pool

– A leisure water area, with outdoor hot pools and two hydroslides

– Nine indoor courts for sports such as netball, basketball, futsal, floor ball, and other indoor sports, including retractable seating for 2500 spectators and function/VIP areas

– Sport New Zealand’s high performance area, which will include facilities for athletes and space for administration

– A large gym/weights facility, with up to five group fitness/multi-purpose rooms and sports health consulting rooms and facilities

– Four studio spaces for movement activity like dance

– A Sports House for administration of different sports

– A café, childcare facility and car parking for 500 vehicles (with the ability to expand in the future)

Previous plans for the facility included a 50-metre competition pool, and an complex with eight indoor courts and 2800 seats.

Sport Canterbury chief executive Julyan Falloonsaid it was great to finally have details of the project.

“We’ve been waiting for so long. It’s a great day for us,” he said.

The sports community could now plan transitional facilities and future competitions and events with more certainty.

“Now it’s about urgency to get the thing built and utilised,” Falloon said.

Netball Mainland chief executive Brigit Hearn said she was “extremely excited”.

“It’s fabulous news. It’s the end of the tunnel for us – now we can move forward and plan ahead.”

Netball Mainland had advocated for 12 courts but Hearn said getting nine courts was “certainly an improvement from where we’re at at the moment”.

The metro sport facility was initially planned to be built by early 2016 but the Government earlier this year pushed the completion date to 2020.

It is understood the business case was rejected when it finally reached the Beehive in May because costs had blown out.

Brownlee said Tuesday the intention was to open the facility to the public in 2019 and the remainder in 2020.

“As we work through the facility’s design and construction we will be looking closely at what opportunities there are to shorten those timeframes,” he said.

The Government had already purchased most of the land required to develop the facility on a central Christchurch site spanning over 70,000 square metres between Moorhouse Ave, Stewart St, St Asaph St and Antigua St.

The business case for the facility was “strong”, with more than two million visits to the facility a year expected once it opened, Brownlee said.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel welcomed the announcement.

“The earthquakes have had a massive impact on the region’s sporting facilities and I’m confident this new centre will reignite sport and recreation participation rates, and be another good reason to live in the central city,” she said.

Source:

  • Stuff.co.nz

Council invited to partake in Australasia’s most liveable city!

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A world-class covered sports stadium in Christchurch would be funded by a partial sale of the city’s assets if Prime Minister John Key had his way…

For more follow the link below;

http://www.christchurchrebuild.co.nz/?p=1295

Christchurch Stadium-Business & Pleasure Combined

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A Christchurch stadium featuring office blocks with views of the pitch would ensure the ground is ‘‘a money maker, not a white elephant’’, designers say…

For more of this story follow the link below;

http://www.christchurchrebuild.co.nz/?p=1264

Christchurch Rebuild Blueprint-Sports Stadium

Christchurch’s new sports stadium will have a roof, hold 35,000 people, and provide a use for one of the city’s most problematic vacant pieces of land.

The facility will be built between Barbadoes and Madras streets, stretching the three city blocks between Hereford and Tuam streets.

Spaces have been left at the northern end to allow the cardboard cathedral and a Telstra Clear office to remain. At the southern end of the area is the old Turners & Growers site. Long vacant, it was sold by the council in 2006 to Urban Winery Christchurch, which planned to turn it into an urban winery with retail areas, an art gallery and apartments.

That was put on hold after the earthquakes – the latest hold-up in a year-long saga of delays and uncertainty.

More than 4000 of the 35,000 capacity will be demountable seats, allowing the rectangular venue to be used for concerts as well.

The project is not one of Cera’s priorities, and is slated to be completed by March 2017, in time for the British and Irish Lions rugby tour that winter. At that stage it will replace the temporary AMI Stadium in Addington, which was first used in March. CCDU director Warwick Isaacs said that was always the plan.

“The temporary one does have a finite life, both physically and through its consenting process.”

However, he stressed that nothing should be read into the artist’s impression included in the blueprint.

“That image is a teaser only. It hasn’t been designed. That’s just something that it could look like.”

The stadium is adjacent to the eastern frame, something Isaacs hopes will foster an entertainment precinct in that space.

“We see that as a bit of a fan zone, potentially a la Melbourne,” he said.

“[If] you don’t get a ticket to the game . . . you’ve got big screens and ambience that makes you feel as though you’re there. Food and beverage and entertainment, you can just see it’s going to happen through here.”

Land acquisition will again be an issue, with property owners not having land use options like those within the frame.

“There are some people we’re going to have to have serious discussions with,” Isaacs said.

The old AMI Stadium on Wilsons Rd suffered badly in the earthquakes.

No decision on its future has been made, but this project effectively does that.

Source:

  • 31 Jul 2012
  • The Press
  • Michael Wright
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