Nelson property developers and owners have poured scorn on the city council’s plans to sell prime space for a large retail development.
Other organisations and individuals are outraged and astonished at plans to sell Wakatu Square car park land to an Auckland developer for a new Farmers retail store at a “bargain rate”. They appeared in force at a hearing in Nelson yesterday which was marked by legal threats and calls to explain the haste over the deal.
Meanwhile, retail chain Farmers is fighting to keep the city on side as it does not want to see its best opportunity for growth in Nelson drowned by public reaction.
The council announced last month the proposed sale of 3056 square metres of land in Wakatu Square for a retail development by Auckland based developer Windermere Holdings for a new Farmers store.
The council weighed up four options, but proposes one: Selling the public land to Windermere for a Farmers store, at a price of just over $2 million based on rateable value.
An independent valuation of two parcels of land in Wakatu Square, called for by the public after a recent meeting and released just this week, has put the market value at $2.75 million.
Councillors defending the plan suggested that the negative reaction was perhaps driven by “sour grapes” from local developers who might have missed out on an opportunity to do the development themselves.
Actually I am told via the tipline and via more than a few calls that the real reason people are miffed is because they see the deal as a stitch up
Submitters have only been allowed 5 minutes to speak unless they were on Miccio’s side in the debate. Miccio has also made several comments on Facebook and Vote NZ that would suggest the outcome was pre-determined with signatures already on the conditional Sale & Purchase agreement with Windermere.
There is also talk of expensive High Court action against the Council with ratpayers likely to be bearing the cost. Process appears to have been short circuited with the Mayor fast tracking his predetermined position before an election with a bargain basement sale.
It sounds like Mayor Miccio is acting awfully like Boss Hogg.
UPDATE: Strange – Windemere Holdings Ltd is struck off the companies register?