In the current discussions on ways to maintain Dunedin’s old buildings, Mayor Cull has suggested that the City underwrite the rent for Heritage buildings:
“How about underwriting rent for heritage buildings?” That could attract a business to the city and give certainty to an owner considering upgrading a building.
“If we were going to give other assistance [to a business] anyway, it doesn’t cost the city a thing.”
In fact it is quite likely to cost the City a great deal. The reason that this suggestion is being considered at all is because these buildings are difficult to rent.
The first thing that should be done to attract tenants to these building is to remove the restrictive planning laws so that any kind of use is permitted. Then the maximum number will be tenanted and expensive resource consents will no longer be required.