ORC empire building again : Consultants give questionable options for new office solutions

ORC offices, Stafford St [abl.co.nz] 1█ Should ORC be made to stay at its current Stafford St site for greater efficiency and cost saving ?

whatifdunedin says:
● Is new officing needed for ORC ? —Not clear.
● Is officing for ORC a worthy use of the prime site to Queens Gardens ? —NO, definitely not.
● Has there been full diligence around the building and site options available at Dunedin ? —Instant laughter. Look at the options listed at ODT, really ? That list has been utterly contrived for ONE set outcome, no more and no less.
● This “ORC Quest” (paraded as diligence for All councillors’ consideration) is empire building by a small rough set bunch of local body bureaucrats and their nest-feathering consultant-buddies with construction industry connections to particular councillors who should know better than not to declare their strong conflicts of interest, right now.

In the Otago Daily Times, developer and heritage building owner Russell Lund writes: “Public scrutiny is required to ensure the most efficient solution is found for the ORC’s new Dunedin building”. He goes on to detail that the regional council “does not have a good track record of project control in relation to its previous attempt to build”.

Wed, 8 June 2016
ODT: Where to now for ORC and its desire for new headquarters?
By Russell Lund
OPINION The Otago Regional Council wants a new facility, in all likelihood a new building, that it owns. When the ORC last attempted to build a new headquarters in 2008, the cost was about $38million … the most expensive office buildings ever constructed in New Zealand to cater for 105 staff … The 2008 building had a floor area of 5600sq m. This equates to 53sq m a staff member, when the recently completed ECan HQ building in Christchurch has just 17sq m a staff member. Cr Kempton, who has been on the new building working party since 2011, will be aware of the cost and size of the ECan building as his company, Naylor Love, built it.
Read more

*whatifdunedin notes: Trevor Kempton is also a Director for Boards of the Dunedin City Council-owned companies Delta Utility Services Ltd and Aurora Energy Ltd.

****

Thu, 9 Jun 2016
ODT: ORC considers Dowling St HQ
After a decade of controversy and delays, an Otago Regional Council committee yesterday recommended a car park in Dowling St, Dunedin, as the preferred site for the council’s new head office. […] The ORC wants a 3000sq m building, either new or redeveloped, with at least 60 car parks, and including a 240sq m council chamber. Its preferred option is now to build a two-storey building on the Dunedin City Council-owned Dowling St car park. It is understood a considerable part of the car park, at 15 Dowling St, would not be required for the proposed development, and could remain as parking.
Read more

[click to enlarge]
DCC Webmap - Dowling St carpark JanFeb2013 (ORC preferred site) 1DCC Webmap – Dowling St car park JanFeb2013 (ORC preferred site)

Dunedin Street View [Google] - Dowling Street Carpark from SH1, Queens Gardens 1Dunedin Street View [Google] – Dowling St car park following the line of the Harcourts building, off lower High St parking area, Queens Gardens

Related Posts and Comments:
11.8.12 ODT editorial (spot on!) — ORC temporary headquarters
26.6.09 ORC headquarters [incl news items to present day]

ORC offices proposed, Kitchener St - sketch render by Mason & Wales Architects (2009) 1ORC offices proposed, Kitchener St - sketch render by Mason & Wales Architects (2009) 3Expensive. ORC harbourside proposal, Mason & Wales Architects (2009)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

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16 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

16 responses to “ORC empire building again : Consultants give questionable options for new office solutions

  1. Gurglars

    The DCC greenies will love it. A few more car parks to disappear. People walking to work from Middlemarch and Waikouaiti. Tosh

  2. Elizabeth

    Spot the potential for Urban Design / City Property / ‘wetmypants’ collusion with DCC players. The usual ego boosts in Election Year even when you’re an operational.

  3. Elizabeth

    But wait, aren’t capital projects like this just another way privateers siphon public funds when they want to prop up a near dormant building business or three – *squeak [especially after University of Otago sells out to Leighs Construction from the north].

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Funny the way this “necessary” building project went on and off and back on the to-do list.

    Looks like some people forgot they were saving for a new home of their own and put the piggy-bank money into lattes instead.

    It’s so young-professional Auckland!

  5. Elizabeth

    Fri, 10 Jun 2016
    ODT: Parking building ‘critical’ if ORC plan proceeds
    If part of Dunedin’s lower Dowling St car park is redeveloped, adding a multistoreyed car-parking building on the site will be “critical” for the area’s future, Les Mills club manager Peter Lee says. Mr Lee was concerned to learn yesterday about an Otago Regional Council proposal to establish a new head office in part of the Dunedin City Council car park, at 15 Dowling St, across the street from the gym.

  6. Elizabeth

    Wed, 8 June 2016 —Opinion by Russell Lund
    ODT: Where to now for ORC and its desire for new headquarters?
    The Otago Regional Council wants a new facility, in all likelihood a new building, that it owns. When the ORC last attempted to build a new headquarters in 2008, the cost was about $38million … the most expensive office buildings ever constructed in New Zealand to cater for 105 staff … The 2008 building had a floor area of 5600sq m. This equates to 53sq m a staff member, when the recently completed ECan HQ building in Christchurch has just 17sq m a staff member. Cr Kempton, who has been on the new building working party since 2011, will be aware of the cost and size of the ECan building as his company, Naylor Love, built it.
    Read more

    Great feedback from ratepayers:

    ODT 10.6.16 (page 10)

    ODT 10.6.16 Letters to the editor Gale Moffat Hayes p10 (1)[click to enlarge]

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    What makes a property valued at $960,000 “non-rateable”?
    Does it mean Timaru Creek Limited, sole director Jonathan Robert Melville RILEY, is a religion? Or perhaps a school or university? It’s called “commercial”, I don’t know if this can include places of worship and schools, wouldn’t have thought so but there are many odd things about district plan designations and departures permitted for certain owners/purposes.

    • Elizabeth

      There once was or may be still is a church meeting place upstairs.

      Regardless, this from ODT:
      “Feldspar founding director Joff Riley, a civil engineer, construction manager and heritage building owner, said as many of Dunedin’s valuable heritage buildings as possible needed to be retained.”

      Innocent enough you would’ve thought.

      Mr Riley is the business partner of David Booth whom I think may have left the Dental School PM job and Octa Associates not slowly word about the Civic Centre on Friday was that Mr Booth is keen to get a friendly foot in the door at City Property, only a sort of whistle-while-we-work rumour but shall we wait and see.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Is this the place? http://dowlingstreetart.weebly.com/news.html

        It appears some of the building, at least, was being rented out at that time for income/profit, so it cannot all have been a church. I wonder why it is not required to pay rates to the DCC.

        • Elizabeth

          Yes – mixed commercial use.
          It’s the old Hallenstein’s New Zealand Clothing Factory.
          An amazing heritage building!
          Read about it here, colleague David Murray is a treasure on such things:
          https://builtindunedin.com/2012/07/04/hallensteins-new-zealand-clothing-company/

          Years ago I used to work at Milford Galleries (the ground floor anchor tenant with building naming rights); above at first floor level was the church, Christian Outreach Centre; and over that, years later, a good friend of mine had a painting studio and started to let studio spaces to other artists (it was a project of hers when she was the commercial property manager for Otago Real Estate, the company owned by Chris James, who was then the building owner). So I know a lot about it through work and play, and also through chairing NZHPT. I also have a strong family drapery connection to Bendix Hallenstein; my great grandfather Kerr, the son of a successful Dunedin draper, was a protégé of Bendix’s. When only in his early twenties my great grandfather began managing Clothing Factory stores around New Zealand followed by Hallenstein Bros stores. That all led to my great grandfather owning his own chain of Kerr & Co draperies in the South Island, with the large flagship store at Oamaru (this is still standing in Thames St).

  8. Elizabeth

    What were we saying about fortuitous opportunism, we forget. Something about plastering over cracks.

    “Hai, I’m back.”

    Sat, 11 Jun 2016
    ODT: Dowling St parking part of proposal – DCC
    A proposal for a new Otago Regional Council head office in a Dowling St car park would need to include provision for car parking, Dunedin City Council property manager Kevin Taylor says. Yesterday, the Otago Daily Times reported concerns raised by a nearby business about the loss of car parks if the head office was built on the Dunedin City Council car park at 15 Dowling St. Responding to a request for comment, Mr Taylor said that it was “early days”.

    So oopsies to date, including another high profile central city project which had huge budget problems (so much money, services and materials going sideways), can still print the pass key to bright new futures for young men in the city. Dunedin!

  9. Elizabeth

    Otago and Dunedin Ratepayers : beware of sharks in the tank.

  10. Elizabeth

    OK more….
    Property: 18-20 Dowling St, Dunedin

    In a comment published at this thread last year, Old ‘n fruity, blow off some dust —noooo, really ??!! (14.9.15), I provided official information on DCC non-rateable properties via LGOIMA —see the download at my first bullet point below.

    Elizabeth
    September 17, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    DCC has replied very quickly to my LGOIMA information request(s) above. Appreciated.

    From: Sandy Graham
    Sent: Thursday, 17 September 2015 4:48 p.m.
    To: Elizabeth Kerr
    Cc: Grace Ockwell; Sue Bidrose; Kristy Rusher
    Subject: RE: Official Information Request re Zero-rated properties – further information request

    Dear Elizabeth

    Please find attached a spreadsheet of the non-rateable properties as requested.

    You have asked specifically about non-rateable properties owned by DCC staff or former staff. We do not hold that information. I have attached however, information relating to a property at 295 Wairongoa Rd, Nth Taieri which I noted was of interest to you on Whatif.

    The property at 295 Wairongoa Road is subject to a QE11 Covenant. Properties subject to this covenant are non- rateable in accordance with the Local Government Rating Act 2002. While most covenants only cover a part of a property, in this case the covenant covers the entire property as shown in the attached document. As no services are available in the area (kerbside recycling, water, drainage etc) the property is fully non-rateable.

    I hope this provides the information you were seeking.

    Regards
    Sandy

    Attachments:
    NonRateable (Xlsx, 51.1 KB)
    Open space covenant (PDF, 470 KB)

    [ends]

    The DCC’s NonRateable register as at 17.9.15 does not include the property 18-20 Dowling St, Dunedin.

    I will now make an official information request to clarify the current rateable status of the property; the accuracy of DCC’s current online rates information; whether rates are now being paid on the property as a whole [since the Christian Outreach Centre (first floor) moved out; replaced by a secondhand bookstore]; and detail of the recent rates history.

  11. Elizabeth

    Tue, 21 Jun 2016
    ODT: ORC office closed after sewer line blocked
    [photo] This sign on the door of the Otago Regional Council’s Stafford St office informed the public the building was closed yesterday. Council chief executive Peter Bodeker said the Dunedin office was closed from 1pm because of a blockage in a main sewer line.

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