Ratepayers to foot some of Shelly Bay's infrastructure cost
Ratepayers will fund some of the millions of dollars to get infrastructure – including a proposed cantilevered boardwalk – to Wellington's Shelly Bay development.
But just how much will be funded by the public – and how much of the cost developers will pick up – remains secret.
Wellington City Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, who heads the transport portfolio, would not reveal where negotiations were at with developers The Wellington Company, which is in a joint venture with the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust to develop the Evans Bay harbourside site.
But for the deal to go ahead, developers would have to agree to chip in an extra $10m on top of what had been agreed, he said, saying it was his personal opinion as an Eastern Ward councillor.
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Some of this was to help pay for a major upgrade to the sewage system to the Wellington Harbour Evans Bay site, but also to widen the access road.
It is understood that the cost of getting infrastructure to the Shelly Bay site could reach up to $40m and, while those in a position to confirm the figure have been unable to verify this, they have been unable to provide a different figure.
Stuff this month revealed there was a proposal to extend the existing 6 metre-wide road to add a 1.5m-wide shared pedestrian and cycle path.
This 7.5m-wide solution – which would still reach into the high tide and likely take out a beach – was far-short of the ideal solution which would be a 22m-wide build made up of road, cycleway and footpath.
But Calvi-Freeman said, with traffic numbers expected to triple or quadruple with the development, he and other councillors favoured a 6m road, with a 2.5m to 3m cycleway and 1.5m footpath – a total width of up to 10.5m.
"I realise that could be very expensive and in certain locations it may be nigh on impossible. There may be some parts where the pedestrians and cycles would have to come together."
He envisioned the walkway as a series of cantilevered platforms and walkways on the seaward side of the road.
While he was not able to reveal the total infrastructure cost, he confirmed negotiations were under way and the developer had agreed to pay some of the cost. Calvi-Freeman wanted $10m more – as a "ballpark figure" – than what had been agreed on so far.
While the work already had resource consent, developers still needed to buy parcels of land owned by ratepayers if they wanted to complete the entire proposed development – complete with 350 homes, a boutique hotel, brewery, rest home and ferry service.
That land was the council's bargaining chip, Calvi-Freeman said.
"I personally like the development and I would love to see it go ahead but not at any price."
Wellington Company director Ian Cassels said the $40m figure was "news to me".
Settlement Trust spokesman Wayne Mulligan said he had heard "numbers bandied about all over the show".
Shelly Bay had decades of infrastructure under-investment – which the council had to carry some of the burden for "at some point", especially given the rates paid there now and post-development.
The planned development would be 60 to 70 per cent public space, he said.