The country’s first equity crowdfunded, community-minded commercial development will soon be owned by everyday New Zealanders. Collett’s Corner, in the heart of Lyttelton, will contribute to the community, both socially and economically.
The project’s collective ownership model marks a visionary shift to fairer wealth distribution, helping close the inequality gap. Eight people control the same wealth as the bottom 50 percent, according to a 2017 Oxfam report. Situated on the London and Oxford Street corner, the 2,710sqm floor area will include a wellness centre, community concierge, hospitality, retail, co-working space and apartments. The final design, led by Warren & Mahoney, is the collaboration of the community’s ideas.
Made possible by a legislative change in 2014, the project allows individuals to own a standalone company with shares, without expensive legal processes. The minimum buy-in for Collett’s Corner is one share, at $100. Any New Zealand resident can invest and the maximum an individual can own is 10 percent.
The project was initiated by entrepreneur, developer and international architect Camia Young. Having co-designed the Gap Filler Pallet Pavilion and co-founded XCHC, she creates buildings that build community. “I’m interested in defining the next era of architecture, creating places of connection and belonging. I truly believe it’s possible to create a more equitable society if we work together.
“It’s time to turn the tables on how our economic systems work, or don’t work. By taking advantage of new opportunities in ownership and development, we can move from an extractive economic system to a regenerative one.”