Horowhenua District Council selling property and industrial land in Levin
Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/news/113383084/-

2019-06-11 04:41:50

Horowhenua District Council is hocking off a commercial property and industrial land as it looks to reduce debt.

The council decided in April to sell some of its "non-core" properties, including a commercial building on Durham St and a block of industrial land on Roe St and Cambridge South St. They are being sold by tender.

Such properties as those that don't house traditional council services, such as commercial buildings and residential housing, according to the council's Long-Term Plan.

Council chief executive David Clapperton said selling them would help to reduce council debt.

"It's intended to bring cash into the organisation... It's the logical thing for us to do."

Council debt levels are forecast to reach about $109m by 2020.

The council also owns the Focal Point Cinema building and four lots of land in Oxford St it will also look to sell. Clapperton said he was confident the council would make more than $5m from the sale of those properties.

The Durham St commercial property houses a Contact Energy national call centre and a Ministry of Social Development office. The building has a rateable value of more than $4m.

Contact Energy spokesman Andrew Austin said the sale of the building would not affect its Levin site and the company had been briefed throughout the process.

Clapperton said the land on Roe St and Cambridge South St was industrial zoned and the council would not look to change the zoning to residential.

Councillor Bernie Wanden said selling the properties and land made "good business sense", as he thought the council shouldn't assume the role of property developers.

Wanden said the council's ownership of commercial property did not benefit the community.

"We've always said we're not the greatest landlords in the business.

"I think people should realise the money could be better used to pay for better infrastructure that we will need because of growth in the district."

Wanden said the cost of maintaining "non-core" properties often outweighed the money made from the leases.

According to the council's Long-Term Plan, it aimed to make $5.3m from the sale of "non-core" commercial properties from 2018 to 2020.

The tender for the commercial building and land closes at the end of the month.

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