The Auckland Investment Office (AIO) has selected two potential investors for a proposed screen innovation and production precinct on 10 hectares of council-owned land at Hobsonville Point, and is now discussing terms for the investors to build, own and operate the precinct.
In July 2015, the Auckland Development Committee voted to give the AIO and council’s economic growth agency – Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – until the end of October to secure an agreement with private sector investors which the committee can consider at its November meeting.
A request for expressions of interest (REOI) for the screen innovation and production precinct was issued by the AIO on 30 July. The focus of the REOI was to ensure an acceptable commercial return for council, and the delivery of a viable and professionally managed studio.
Steve Armitage, ATEED acting General Manager Business Attraction and Investment, says: “Respondents were expected to demonstrate their ability to meet a number of criteria, such as expertise in studio management, industry support, and their thinking about various commercial aspects of the proposed precinct.”
Eight formal responses were received from parties in New Zealand and overseas by the time the REOI closed at the end of August.
Key factors the AIO has used to rank the proposals received included suitability of the proposed model, financial resources, and experience in studio management.
The REOI Evaluation Team identified two different respondents and has begun discussions to understand the exact nature of any transaction that may be successfully developed by the end of this month.
“This does not discount the possibility of discussions occurring with other respondents,” says Steve Armitage. “The AIO will look at all options to craft the basis of a transaction acceptable to the Auckland Development Committee and the Governing Body.”