Notable omissions in stadium land grab

Last updated 05:00 20/03/2013
NG Gallery
FUTURE UNKNOWN: The building that houses the NG Gallery was one of the first to reopen in CBD after the earthquakes.
Kate McCaskill
CBD Bar provides another reason to head back into the city.

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The fates of two high-profile sites within the central-city block earmarked for Christchurch's new 35,000-seat covered stadium are yet to be decided.

The Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) yesterday advertised "notices of intention to take land" for 47 lots within the proposed stadium's footprint between Madras, Barbadoes, Tuam and Hereford streets.

Notable omissions included the heritage-listed NG Gallery on Madras St and the Christchurch City Council-owned former Turners & Growers site - the largest plot on the planned stadium site.

A Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) spokesman said yesterday that "further work" was required before a decision on the need to acquire the properties was made, but could not elaborate because negotiations were ongoing.

Gallery owners Sharon Ng and Roland Logan, who do not want to sell, have rallied support against likely government acquisition.

Cera said last year that plans to incorporate the building and the neighbouring CBD Bar building into the stadium design were being considered.

Ng said yesterday she was still hopeful the gallery could remain.

"We intend to stay and I think [the CCDU] intend for us to stay as well," she said.

Not having a definitive decision was "good news", Ng said.

"We're not worried about it now. We'll just carry on."

The future of the CBD Bar site is not known because it is part of the Turners & Growers block.

Co-owner Zak Cassels said he was "99 per cent" confident that the bar would remain. "Everything I know leads me to believe that this lovely heritage building with a successful business in it will survive whatever it is [the CCDU] have cooked up for us," he said.

"We've heavily invested in this building and we want to keep it. "

Figures released in January showed negotiations were underway to buy 177 of the 847 sites needed for the green frame and anchor projects. As well, one site has been bought, two sales agreements have been completed, 16 sale and purchase documents signed by owners and agreement in principle reached with 19 parties.

Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said last year that landowners unwilling to negotiate with the Government on central-city blueprint buyouts would be told, "This is the offer, have a nice day."

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- The Press


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