Buyers sought for Kew Bowl

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    Kew Bowl outdoor track cycling velodrome, 1949

    THE Invercargill City Council (ICC) is seeking to offload the vacant Kew Bowl site.

    A council spokesperson said there had been increased interest in the site, which has led the council to carry out the Expressions of Interest process seeking parties interested in buying it.

    As of yesterday, the council had received one formal Expression of Interest.

    The Expressions of Interest period closes today, with any Expressions of Interest received expected to be presented to council on March 5.

    There has been interest in developing the site for nearly a decade. On April, 29, 2010, the Southland Express reported the council had received expressions of interest for development of the land, and the site was being cleared to prepare it for sale.

    The spokesperson said it had been approached by several potential buyers who were interested in the site, but the council had not run a formal Expressions of Interest process regarding the site before.

    Last year, the council was again approached by another potential buyer and resolved to formally call for Expressions of Interest, which would enable all potential buyers of the site to put in a proposal, the spokesperson said. “The formal Expressions of Interest process ensures everyone has an opportunity to participate in the process.”

    The Kew Bowl site is about 1.6ha, on the east side of 390 Elles Rd between Scott and McQuarrie Sts.

    The ICC bought the property from the Southland Amateur Cycling Association in 2006 as a way to assist the development of the indoor velodrome at Surrey Park.

    Kew Bowl had not been used for any other purpose since the indoor velodrome was built.

    The land is zoned residential under the ICC’s 2013 proposed District Plan.

    The council spokesperson said permitted activities for the site included home occupation, home stay, residential activity, and residential care activity limited to a maximum of eight persons. Several discretionary activities with non-complying activities, being any activity not listed as permitted, would require resource consent. The land has a rating valuation of $275,000.

    Invercargill cycling identity Graham Sycamore said it had been “quite sad when [Kew Bowl] closed”.

    Commonwealth Games gold medalist Glenn McLeay and Eddie Dawkins, one of the best sprint cyclists in the world, were among some of New Zealand’s top cyclists who got their start in cycling at Kew Bowl, Mr Sycamore said.

    One of his first major highlights during his time at Kew Bowl was when Invercargill hosted the 1964 New Zealand Track Cycling Championships for the first time, he said.

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