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Auckland Council puts feelers out for construction syndicate capable of $300M+ waterfront build

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

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Auckland Council is on the hunt for a consortium capable of delivering an infrastructure redevelopment north of $300 million that would meet the city's plans to host the 36th America's Cup and APEC leaders' week in 2021. 

The country's biggest local authority issued a registration of interest notice on the government's online GETS tender website, inviting construction firms keen on joining an alliance to build the necessary infrastructure for hosting the international yachting competition and associated development linked to the APEC event. Respondents have to be able to show evidence they have been involved in the design and construction of an infrastructure project worth more than $300 million and the ability to work in good faith with council, Mana Whenua, partner firms, and other stakeholders. 

The America's Cup component, which includes base infrastructure such as wharf extensions, berthing for super yachts, and relocation of existing tenants, needs to be completed by October 2019 and has a tentative cost estimate of $170 million subject to more detailed work and governing body approval. The associated infrastructure is estimated to cost between $250 million and $260 million, of which some $170 million-to-$180 million of marine work such as a seawall upgrade and ferry terminal redevelopment could be included in the alliance, while another $82 million of non-marine work including amenity upgrades on Quay St and Viaduct East and the Britomart east bus interchange won't be considered. 

"The America's Cup and APEC 2021 mark a key milestone in the 10-year development plan for the city centre waterfront," the notice said. "There are significant legacy outcomes that can be leveraged in planning for these events, and the city centre and water development programme aims to make the most of this." 

Last month Auckland Council's governing body confirmed the Wynyard Basin option as its preferred location for negotiations with central government and Emirates Team New Zealand for the event. The NZ Herald this week reported Economic Development Minister David Parker was looking at the old Tank Farm at Wynyard Point as a cheaper alternative, an option the council governing body acknowledged was being investigated by the Crown when approving its support to host the event. 

The pre-tender registration is open is to "identify the most suitable construction contractor or a contractor's JV (joint venture)", and respondents have until the close of business tomorrow before an expression of interest notice is issued later this week. A short list is expected to be notified on Feb. 14 with the preferred partner picked on March 1. 

"There are challenges with the delivery under this tight timeframe, but the rewards for the communities of Auckland and New Zealand are expected to be significant," the notice said. "This work is seen as vital for achieving a functioning waterfront, visitor experience, legacy value and improving Auckland's visibility on the world stage during and after the events." 

A report commissioned by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment estimates the America's Cup will generate a boost of $600 million-to-$1 billion to the national economy, and create 4,700-to-8,300 jobs. The cost-benefit analysis estimated a return of 99.7 cents-to-$1.14 for every dollar spent. 


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