Decision Maker: Executive Board
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Executive Board is requested to agree a new acquisition/ acquisitions as part of the Council’s investment portfolio.
The Deputy Chief Executive and the Director of City Development submitted a joint report regarding the terms for the acquisition of two newly constructed buildings in Leeds (3 Sovereign Square and Unit 1 Logic Leeds) which could be added to the Council’s property investment portfolio.
Members welcomed the proposals to acquire the properties, as detailed within the submitted report.
It was confirmed to the Board that the name of the tenant to occupy Unit 1, Logic Leeds (Amazon) was now in the public domain. Following this, an enquiry was raised about potential concerns regarding the working practices of that company. In response, it was confirmed that regardless of whether the Council bought the property, Amazon had obtained the lease of Unit 1, Logic Leeds, and as such, should Members have concerns about the working practices of the company on their Leeds premises, then a dialogue could be had with them. In connection with this, Members also considered the possibility of establishing an ethical landlord policy for the Council.
Following consideration of Appendix 1 to the submitted report, designated as exempt from publication under the provisions of Access to Information Procedure Rule 10.4(3), which was considered in private at the conclusion of the meeting, it was
(a) That the acquisition of 3 Sovereign Square as an investment on the terms as detailed within exempt Appendix 1 to the submitted report, be approved;
(b) That the acquisition of Unit 1 Logic Leeds as an investment on the terms as detailed within exempt Appendix 1 to the submitted report, be approved;
(c) That the injection into the Capital Programme, together with the associated ‘Authority to Spend’, for the sums as detailed within exempt Appendix 1, be approved;
(d) That the Director of City Development, under the scheme of Delegation, be authorised to approve any changes to the recommended terms which may be necessary prior to completion, and that the Director of City Development also be authorised to complete the acquisitions;
(e) That the Director of City Development be authorised to investigate the acquisition of additional investment opportunities which will further enhance the strength and performance of the Council’s investment portfolio in supporting the Council’s budget and stimulating economic regeneration and confidence as part of a strategic investment fund;
(f) That the resolutions, as detailed within this minute be exempted from the Call In process, for the reasons as set out within paragraph 4.5.3 of the submitted report (detailed below);
(g) That the recommendation, as detailed at paragraph 10.1 of exempt Appendix 1 be approved, and that the Director of City Development be authorised to facilitate this resolution.
(The Council’s Executive and Decision Making Procedure Rules state that a decision may be declared as being exempt from Call In by the decision taker if it is considered that any delay would seriously prejudice the Council’s, or the public’s interests. In line with resolution (f) above, the resolutions contained within this minute were exempted from the Call In process as the Council is purchasing 3 Sovereign Square under the provision of an option agreement which requires the transaction to be exchanged within 20 days of notice being served by the vendor. By variation, the vendors have agreed to extend this to a long-stop date of the 27 June to exchange. Accordingly, if the Council does not exchange by that date it will lose its special position afforded by the option agreement. This situation would place the purchase under significant risk. Similarly, with respect to Unit 1 Logic Leeds, the price negotiated has been concluded on the basis that the sale is completed by 30 June 2016 to be before the end of the vendor’s financial year. Should the sale not complete to that timescale, the Council would be at risk of the sale and the purchase price being re-opened for negotiation in open competition with other parties).
Reason Key: Expenditure > £250,000;
Wards Affected: City and Hunslet; Temple Newsam;
Portfolio Holder: Executive Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning
Other reasons / organisations consulted
Executive Members for Regeneration, Transport & Planning and Resources & Strategy;
Contact: Edward Rowland, Principal Surveyor 0113 2477886.
Report author: Edward Rowland
Publication date: 29/06/2016
Date of decision: 22/06/2016
Decided at meeting: 22/06/2016 - Executive Board
Effective from: 02/07/2016