Tauranga City Council will begin preferred party negotiations for its Heart of the City Development Partner procurement with Willis Bond & Co, following a Council meeting held in confidential yesterday.
Council also endorsed in principle the draft Heart of the City Negotiation Strategy, which will be the agreed approach to the preferred party negotiation stage, beginning in early 2018.
The development partner will work with Council to deliver a new civic administration building, surrounding open space and a hotel and conference centre in the city centre. There is also potential to partner with Council to deliver the Heart of the City aspirational elements such as a new central library, museum and other civic projects.
Willis Bond & Co is a New Zealand company specialising in property development and investment. Their projects are predominantly large scale, medium to high-end developments based in urban environments and historic precincts. They have a strong focus on waterfront and inner city mixed-use development that combine living, retail, office and parking.
Current and recent projects include Wynyard Central, Catalina Bay and Sunderland at Hobsonville Point in Auckland, and Whitireia WelTec Campus, Chews Lane Precinct and Queen's Wharf in Wellington.
Council sought Expressions of Interest (EOI) in May. EOI were evaluated to determine a shortlist to progress to the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage, which closed on 27 October.
Mayor Greg Brownless said appointing one of New Zealand's leading property development companies as the Heart of the City preferred development partner was a significant milestone for the Heart of the City programme's objective of working in partnership to create a vibrant, safe and successful city centre.