ECE centre gets reduced rate for land lease

MOVED ON IN: Briana Blake, Juniper Smith, Jemima Lane, Zosia Costello and Helen Mulrooney enjoy the smart new facilities in the newly-renovated Gisborne Community Early Education Centre in Palmerston Road. The council-owned building will be sold to the centre for a nominal amount and a new land lease negotiated with the council. Pictures by Paul Rickard
NEW-LOOK CENTRE: Childcare worker Lucy Blair and Zara Morete in the revamped Gisborne Community Early Education Centre, which will be sold by Gisborne District Council at a nominal rate to the centre. The centre has operated at the site since 1976 and has renovated the building. A new lease has also been agreed to.

Gisborne District Council has agreed to Gisborne Community Early Education Centre leasing its Palmerston Road properties at 60 percent of market value despite concerns of establishing a precedent in a competitive industry.

The council will also enter into a sale and purchase agreement — for a nominal amount — of the former women’s rest rooms at 175 Palmerston Road, which has been occupied by the centre since 1976.

The centre has completed a major upgrade of the former rest rooms to which the council did not contribute any funding.

The organisation also owns buildings at 179 and 181 Palmerston Road.

These are on council-owned land and are also covered by the 60 percent market rate lease.

Pat Seymour said the land on “that side of the riverbank” was dedicated to social services in the 1930s and 1940s. She supported a lease at 60 percent of market rate.

But she said the council should not contribute to the upkeep of the former women’s room building as requested by the centre, as it was a commercial operation.

Shannon Dowsing said he did not support any financial support, as the council was “handing over the existing value of the building”, but he backed the 60 percent lease agreement.

Council liveable communities director Andrew White said councillors would have to consider fairness and the precedent-setting nature of the proposals as there were other competing early education centres that did not have a subsidy-type agreement with the council.

He conceded a precedent had already been established in the existing lease agreed in 2007 in a decision made in a publicly-excluded meeting .

The centre was in a heritage precinct, which meant there were expectations around the facade, colours and its “presentation’’ to the street.

Mrs Seymour said market rent could not be charged because the market value of the properties was determined by restraints existing on the land because of its location.

Andy Cranston said that if the centre planned to get bigger, that would raise car parking issues. He agreed there were precedent issues with other competing child care centres.

Brian Wilson declared a conflict of interest. He was involved in other early education centres and took no part in the discussion or decision.

Gisborne District Council has agreed to Gisborne Community Early Education Centre leasing its Palmerston Road properties at 60 percent of market value despite concerns of establishing a precedent in a competitive industry.

The council will also enter into a sale and purchase agreement — for a nominal amount — of the former women’s rest rooms at 175 Palmerston Road, which has been occupied by the centre since 1976.

The centre has completed a major upgrade of the former rest rooms to which the council did not contribute any funding.

The organisation also owns buildings at 179 and 181 Palmerston Road.

These are on council-owned land and are also covered by the 60 percent market rate lease.

Pat Seymour said the land on “that side of the riverbank” was dedicated to social services in the 1930s and 1940s. She supported a lease at 60 percent of market rate.

But she said the council should not contribute to the upkeep of the former women’s room building as requested by the centre, as it was a commercial operation.

Shannon Dowsing said he did not support any financial support, as the council was “handing over the existing value of the building”, but he backed the 60 percent lease agreement.

Council liveable communities director Andrew White said councillors would have to consider fairness and the precedent-setting nature of the proposals as there were other competing early education centres that did not have a subsidy-type agreement with the council.

He conceded a precedent had already been established in the existing lease agreed in 2007 in a decision made in a publicly-excluded meeting .

The centre was in a heritage precinct, which meant there were expectations around the facade, colours and its “presentation’’ to the street.

Mrs Seymour said market rent could not be charged because the market value of the properties was determined by restraints existing on the land because of its location.

Andy Cranston said that if the centre planned to get bigger, that would raise car parking issues. He agreed there were precedent issues with other competing child care centres.

Brian Wilson declared a conflict of interest. He was involved in other early education centres and took no part in the discussion or decision.

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