10 Aug 2013

Final offers sent to 'anchor project' properties

5:58 pm on 10 August 2013

The agency responsible for building most of Christchurch's key central city projects is sending out final offers of purchase to landowners.

The Christchurch Central Development Unit says if the Crown is unable to reach agreement with owners, it will have to resort to compulsory acquisition.

Some 80% of those with land designated for the convention centre, the bus interchange and the top part of the development's eastern sector are understood to have accepted.

One property owner says the prices being offered are nowhere near market value. Art McKee says landowners are in a very difficult position as they have no bargaining power whatsoever.

City Owners Rebuild Entity spokesperson Ernest Duval says most of the remaining owners are likely to accept the Government's final offer so they can get on with their lives.

Mr Duval says some of the offers are dramatically below the independent valuations owners have had carried out.

But the unit's director, Baden Ewart, says the Crown takes advice from two independent valuers in determining its offer for each property.

He says compulsory acquisition is not the preferred method, but it can't afford to hold up the development of the new central city any longer.