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Coastal sales that didn’t work pre-Christmas all go now

John Greenwood, who heads lifestyle & waterfront special projects for Bayleys, called off the auction of 3 coastal properties in December for the lack of genuine enquiry – and immediately started fielding calls about them.

Come February, sales of all 3 were negotiated.

John Greenwood.

Mr Greenwood said there was a change in the air after international politics played heavily in the last quarter of 2016 on decision-making to use surplus money buying luxuries like a holiday home in New Zealand.

“Buyers in the coastal market like to see some stability of the financial markets before entering into the purchase of bigger luxuries like a holiday home or second home, and tend to withdraw from making a decision or using their surplus funds until they can see 2 years of stability in the markets.

“With the events of Brexit & Trump offshore, and also the Australian banks tightening up on lending into the Auckland market, the enquiry basically disappeared in November & December.

“This resistance was across the board, from $1.5 million to $6 million the call was the same. However, in February the enquiry really jumped, with a very positive attitude to New Zealand’s position in the world and the state of the economy, all 3 of my withdrawn auction properties selling by negotiation in February in the price range of $2-2.5 million, and enquiry in this range has been stronger than ever from local buyers.

The enquiry in the higher bracket, however, is still very slow, with almost no enquiry locally over the $3.5 million level.”

The international market

“The media frenzy after the US elections, about Americans “flooding here in their droves” just wasn’t real. Yes, enquiry was happening, but in reality no noticeable real enquiry came out of the US until February.

“European enquiry, however, was quite strong, with buyers actually committing last year to coming to New Zealand specifically looking at lifestyle properties, and in February they came and had budgets in the $20 million-plus range.”

Mr Greenwood said Napier & Hawke’s Bay appeared to be the Europeans’ places of choice as they saw the infrastructure, the fact that there is a hospital (not one in the Bay of Islands or Queenstown) and that the towns have a well presented residential presence.

As for the American, he said enquiry had picked up, buyers were committing to coming and they had specific briefs: “Their budgets are from $5 million upwards, so hopefully this will give some impetus to the higher end of the market.”

Attribution: Agency release.

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Commercial property & 2 apartments sell as 8 units passed in

The one commercial property on Barfoot & Thompson’s city auction list this morning, an early learning centre, was sold under the hammer, followed by a slow journey as 8 apartments were passed in. Then, breaking the run at the end of the auction, the last 2 apartments sold (they’re listed below by location, not by auction list order), in the Cintra (pictured) off Symonds St and a unit in Zest.




Harbour Oaks, 16 Gore St, unit 33H:
Features: 2 bedrooms, secure parking space
Outgoings: body corp levy $5345/year
Outcome: passed in at $512,000
Agents: Wendy Feng & Jack Li

Learning Quarter

Crown on Cintra, 3 Whitaker Place, unit 16C:
Features: 39m² studio, study, balcony, parking space, leaky issues identified
Outgoings: body corp levy $4155/year
Outcome: sold for $222,000
Agents: Oscar Zhao & Leo Shin


Q Central, 54 Liverpool St, unit 7B:
Features: leasehold, 64m² 2-bedroom penthouse, balcony
Outgoings: rates $1582/year including gst; body corp levy $3549/year, ground rent $7642/year
Income assessment: $450/week
Outcome: passed in at $115,000
Agents: Zoran Farac & Stephen Shin

Bianco off Queen, 8 White St, unit 9C:
Features: 54m², 2 bedrooms, balcony
Outgoings: body corp levy $6561/year
Income assessment: $600/week
Outcome: passed in at $480,000, back on the market at $538,000
Agents: Annie Xu & Sean Zhang

Victoria Quarter

88 Cook St, unit 7:
Features: 148m², 2 levels, 3 bedrooms, living area on each floor, 2 secure parking spaces
Outgoings: body corp levy $3003/year
Outcome: no bid
Agent: Sean Lee

Hobson Gardens, 205 Hobson St, unit 5H:
Features: 140m², 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, study, parking space
Outgoings: body corp levy $6167/year excluding water
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Stephen Shin & Yasu Ka

Zest, 72 Nelson St, unit 1028:
Features: 48m², 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, balcony, parking space
Outgoings: body corp levy $5774/year
Income assessment: $450/week
Outcome: sold for $450,000
Agents: Wendy Feng & Jack Li

Alpha, 17 Vogel Lane, unit 1102:
Features: 46m², one bedroom, balcony, parking space
Outgoings: rates $1457/year including gst; body corp levy $4460/year
Outcome: no bid, back on market at $569,000
Agents: Stephen Shin & Justin Choi

Kingsbridge, 72 Wellesley St, unit 30:
Features: 2 bedrooms, wraparound balconies, parking space
Outcome: passed in at $550,000
Agents: Rita Herceg & Alex Allan


Quay Regency, 148 Quay St, unit 7C:
Features: one bedroom
Outgoings: body corp levy $4154/year
Outcome: passed in at $405,000
Agents: Alex Allan & Rita Herceg


Isthmus west

Pt Chevalier

90 Pt Chevalier Rd:
Features: 639m² corner site, 110m² building, early learning centre
Outcome: sold for $1.36 million
Agents: Duane Mullooly & Chris Peterson

Attribution: Auction.

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5 sell out of 13 intensive units auctioned at Barfoots

5 units sold out of 13 apartments, townhouses, suburban units & cross-leases auctioned at Barfoot & Thompson’s city office yesterday, and one cbd apartment was withdrawn. Among the sales was a 2-bedroom apartment overlooking Parnell Rd (pictured).


Learning Quarter

The Quadrant, 10 Waterloo Quadrant, unit 2207:
Features: 2-bedroom apartment, balcony, parking space
Outcome: withdrawn from auction
Agent: Dong Liu

Isthmus east


218 Green Lane West, unit 37:
Features: 3-bedroom unit, 2 bathrooms, study, double garage
Outgoings: body corp levy $4250/year
Outcome: passed in at $900,000
Agents: George Fong & Laura McAuley


73C Carlton Gore Rd, unit 3:
Features: one-bedroom 1930s apartment, private courtyard
Outcome: passed in
Agents: Cheryl Burgess & Ian Griffiths

Kings Square, 26 Remuera Rd, unit 506:
Features: over 100m², 3-bedroom apartment, 2 bathrooms, double garage
Outgoings: body corp levy $3421/year
Outcome: no bid, back on market at $1.019 million
Agents: Cici & Miro Wang

9 Sarawia St, unit 408:
Features: one-bedroom apartment in former motel, offstreet parking
Outcome: sold for $432,500
Agents: Jill Jackson & Emma John


387 Parnell Rd, unit 6:
Features: 2-bedroom apartment, tandem garage
Outgoings: rates $2183/year including gst; body corp levy $7232/year
Outcome: sold for $830,000
Agents: Silvia Poletti & Bobby McMillan


11 & 13 Hapua St:
Features: 2 adjoining properties on combined 1602m², 4-bedroom duplex with double internal-access garage on 641m², 3 bathrooms, and vacant 961m² section with resource consent for 2 houses
Outcome: no bid
Agent: Cindy Yu

Isthmus west

Freemans Bay

47 Napier St:
Features: 119m², 3-bedroom terrace, 2 bathrooms, courtyard, internal-access garage
Outgoings: body corp levy $4834/year
Outcome: sold for $972,500
Agent: Ric Parore

116 Wellington St, unit 3:
Features: one-bedroom unit, private courtyard, storage, offstreet parking
Outgoings: body corp levy $2512/year
Outcome: sold for $665,000
Agent: André Boddé

Grey Lynn

7C Scanlan St:
Features: 136m², 2-level 2-bedroom apartment in warehouse conversion, storage, 2 parking spaces
Outgoings: body corp levy $1646/year
Outcome: no bid
Agent: David Dowse


52 Aitken Terrace, unit 1B:
Features: 2-bedroom apartment, deck, double basement garage
Outgoings: body corp levy $4900/year
Outcome: sold for $920,000
Agents: Susan Murdock & Sue Cohen

Mt Eden

68 Ellerton Rd:
Features: cross-lease, half share in 976m², 3-bedroom villa, attic, study, carport
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Derek Helliwell & Di Lynds

Mt Roskill

7 Jasper Avenue:
Features: cross-lease, half share in 837m², 3-bedroom bungalow, carport
Outcome: passed in at $935,000
Agents: Bella Stefano & Sherry Shao


99B Lambeth Rd:
Features: cross-lease, quarter share in 1214m², 3-bedroom house, deck, carport
Outcome: no bid
Agent: Mal MacElvanna

Attribution: Auctions.

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Hotel unit sells on low yield and Mission Bay church goes

A Portland Tower apartment on Queen St, in the Quest hotel pool, was sold by the mortgagee on a 4.2% yield at Bayleys’ auction today, and a Mission Bay church was also sold, future use unknown.


Queen St

Portland Tower, 62 Queen St, unit 14A:
Features: 31m², one-bedroom apartment on Quest hotel lease until 2030, balcony
Outgoings: rates $2440/year including gst
Income assessment: $12,000/year
Outcome: sold at ANZ Bank mortgagee auction for $286,500 at a 4.19% yield
Agents: Dave Hamlyn & Marcus Fava

Isthmus east

Mission Bay

69 Patteson Avenue:
Features: 1313m² section, Orakei Methodist church & hall, zone changing from residential 2B (one dwelling/600m²) to mixed housing suburban (minimum lot size 400m²)
Outcome: sold for $2.5 million at $1904/m² land
Agent: Alan Elliott

Isthmus west

Mt Albert

10 Counsel Terrace, unit 1:
Features: cross-lease, 1/3 share in 1050m², 3-bedroom townhouse, 2 bathrooms, conservatory, garage converted to fourth bedroom
Outcome: no bid
Agent: Angela Yang

Attribution: Auction.

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Smith skips the “however” in OECD environmental review

Environment Minister Nick Smith’s take on an OECD report on New Zealand’s environmental performance is that it says we are doing well. He skipped the word “however”, which makes frequent appearances in the OECD’s press release and the report.

All up, it’s a constructive report, as you would expect from an OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development) unit headed by Dr Smith’s predecessor from the 1990s, Simon Upton.

Simon Upton.

Mr Upton was elected to Parliament as a National MP in 1981, when he was 23, and was appointed to the Cabinet in 1990, holding the portfolios of health, the environment, and research, science & technology. As environment minister he shepherded the Resource Management Act into law in 1991, and he was responsible for establishing the Crown research institutes.

When he resigned from Parliament in 2001, he went to Paris to chair the OECD’s Round Table on Sustainable Development, and in 2010 he was appointed head of the OECD’s environment directorate, based in Paris.

For yesterday’s release of the organisation’s environmental performance review of New Zealand, he was back in Wellington. That much was acknowledged by Dr Smith but, for the rest, his response to the constructive review was a glib use of the kind references in the report.

Nick Smith.

Dr Smith said the review “highlights New Zealand’s green credentials and the strong progress we have made over the past decade, as well as the challenges we need to address. This report highlights that New Zealand fares well in terms on environmental quality of life. We have good air quality, an exceptionally high proportion of renewable electricity, easy access to pristine wilderness and an advanced & comprehensive natural resource management system.

“This report shows how far we have come over the past decade. We introduced environmental pricing on waste in 2009 and on greenhouse gas emissions in 2010. We have introduced new national policy statements in areas of freshwater management, urban development & coastal management, as well as national environment standards on air quality. We have also made important institutional changes with the creation of the Environmental Protection Authority, new laws regulating activities in New Zealand’s huge EEZ (exclusive economic zone) and the new Environment Reporting Act 2015.

“We also concur with the OECD assessment of New Zealand’s future environmental challenges of climate change, freshwater management, biodiversity, reducing the complexity of urban planning & transport funding reform. This report reinforces the importance of the significant work programmes the Government has under way in each of these areas.

“This environmental report card will help us sharpen our future direction & environmental aspirations, as well as learn from the experiences of other countries. I thank the OECD reviewers & the examining countries of Australia & the UK for their contribution to this thoughtful report.”

Report reflects Upton’s constructive criticism

Many New Zealanders opposed to giving greater sway to environmental care in the 1990s regarded Mr Upton as a jumped-up little squirt. What he did was back his views with a formidable breadth & depth of information, and he looked for the positive & constructive.

That’s reflected in yesterday’s OECD review, which was worked on by over 30 OECD people.

Heading the project was a Canadian, Nathalie Girouard, who worked on economic policy & country studies when she joined the OECD in 1993 and co-ordinated its green growth strategy for 5 years, and research was led by a Russian who gained his master’s degree in environmental management in Amsterdam and is now a US citizen, Eugene Mazur, a policy analyst involved in various environmental performance reviews since 2003 (his next one is on Estonia) and spent 14 years on environmental policy reform in countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus & Central Asia.

If Dr Smith can get his RMA reform, the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill, through Parliament in the final session of Parliament before the election – on the slimmest of majorities as his only support at the moment is the Maori Party – economic factors will carry as much weight as environmental.

That makes plenty of sense in many circumstances, but it would be very easy for the economic to quickly dominate the environmental assessments: concrete over the more hypothetical. The debate that has followed the 23 February announcement of the Government aim for 90% of rivers & lakes to be swimmable by 2040 is evidence that this government doesn’t rate the damage from high levels of nutrients entering waterways as highly as the public response suggests it should.

The OECD press release out yesterday began: “New Zealanders enjoy a high environmental quality of life & access to pristine wilderness. However, New Zealand’s growth model, based largely on exploiting natural resources, is starting to show its environmental limits with increasing greenhouse gas emissions & water pollution.”

Cleaning up lakes has been on Dr Smith’s agenda since National returned to power in 2008. The national policy statement for freshwater management was published in 2014 and the “swimmable” declaration was made a month ago.

OECD criticisms

Mr Upton said when he presented the report in Wellington: “While the country only accounts for a tiny share of global emissions, the review finds that intensive dairy farming, road transport & industry have pushed up gross greenhouse gas emissions by 23% since 1990. Despite generating 80% of its electricity from renewable sources, among the highest in OECD countries, New Zealand has the second highest level of emissions per gdp unit in the OECD and the fifth highest emissions/capita.

“Having largely decarbonised its power generation, New Zealand needs to ensure its climate policies are effective in curbing emissions in all sectors, notably transport & agriculture. This means strengthening the emissions trading scheme and ensuring sectoral policies are aligned with the need for a low emissions transition.”

Agriculture accounts for 49% of emissions – the highest share in the OECD – and the report suggests they should be incorporated into the emissions trading scheme or alternative measures developed to counter the pressures of farming: “The use of environmentally related taxes, charges & prices should be expanded.”

“Growth in intensive dairy production has increased the level of nitrogen in soil, surface water & groundwater. The nitrogen balance (the difference between nutrients entering & leaving the system) increased more than in any other OECD country from 2000-10.

“Aware of the need to safeguard water quality, New Zealand has begun a process of freshwater policy reforms with a clean water package of proposals in February that address some of the OECD recommendations. Further government support is needed to assist local authorities with setting rigorous goals and to speed up implementation.”

Urban planning

The review also looks at New Zealand’s fast-growing cities and suggests that a simpler urban planning system, less restrictive land use regulations and better co-ordination between land, transport & infrastructure planning could help ease the pressure. It adds: “Car ownership in cities is high and many vehicles are old & emission-intensive. Current vehicle standards & taxes do not sufficiently encourage a shift towards cleaner, more efficient technologies.”

The report says New Zealand should consider more systematic use of pricing instruments to achieve urban policy objectives. It said water charges had helped cut consumption, but legislation prevented use of volumetric charges for wastewater services, road tolls & congestion charges.

The report said there was wide scope to make better use of pricing instruments to encourage efficient land use: “Development contributions (levied to finance infrastructure) do not reflect the true cost of providing infrastructure to a specific area. This makes inefficient and use artificially cheap and potentially accelerates urban sprawl.

“Limited distinctions between development contributions across building types & characteristics – eg, size or energy efficiency – translate into weak incentives for developers to build high performance buildings or low impact infrastructure.

“Financial contributions (levied to reflect costs of development on the environment) are often charged at a fixed rate, rather than being based on the marginal environmental damage of development, and the Resource Management Legislation Bill proposed to remove them entirely.

“Property taxes (rates) are mostly levied on the basis of capital value rather than land value, which may favour greenfield over infill developments insofar as they are permitted.”

The report also advised changes to infrastructure funding policies: “Expansion of pricing instruments would also diversify funding options available to city councils. Many councils need significant investment to accommodate population growth, including in water & wastewater, roads & public transport infrastructure.

“The central government finances about half of local roads or public transport, but entirely finances state highways. This creates incentives for local government to opt for state highway over local road & public transport solutions.

“Funding heavily relies on property taxation (general rates), which implies large cross-subsidies from the general public and weakened incentives for councils to accommodate growth, as infrastructure investment may lead to a higher tax (rates) burden on the community.

“User- & beneficiary-based funding, eg through road & water pricing and better targeted development contributions, would reduce the burden on the public budget. At the same time it would contribute to better demand management and more efficient use of land & resources.

“There may be room for the tax system to capture windfall gains accruing to landowners from infrastructure improvement (eg, betterment levies) and rezoning land for urban use (land value capture) to pay for required infrastructure.”

The OECD’s recommendations on this segment include:

  • giving more attention to spatial planning, while simplifying infrastructure & transport planning requirements
  • broadening the scope of the national policy statement on urban development capacity to encourage good urban design outcomes & principles for sustainable urban development, and
  • facilitating a change to land use plans to reduce the scope for vested interests to thwart development of wider public interests.

One recommendation less likely to go down well is to repeat the Auckland super-city experiment, with adjustments, in other urban areas. For that to succeed, Aucklanders will need to be convinced that the value of amalgamation has exceeded its downside.

OECD NZ environmental performance review 2017
2014 OECD report: Do environmental policies matter for productivity growth? Insights from new cross-country measures of environmental policies
4 March 2017, Government release: River & lake targets need to be practical
25 February 2017: Conservation & environment science roadmap announced
23 February 2017: Claims of lowered water standards wrong
23 February 2017: 90% of rivers & lakes swimmable by 2040

Attribution: OECD report & release, ministerial release.

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5 new Highbrook developments include more Quest units & parking building

Goodman Property Trust’s manager announced 5 new developments for the Highbrook Business Park yesterday, worth a total $44 million.

Goodman (NZ) Ltd chief executive John Dakin said they were expected to generate around $3.7 million/year in rent, an 8.4% return on investment.

The 5 new Highbrook projects, their size, cost & expected completion date:

Quest serviced apartment expansion: 60 new apartments, $11.7 million, July 2018
The Crossing office building 6: 3006m², $4.9 million, June 2018
Multi-storey carpark building: 324 new parking spaces, $5.7 million December 2017
Warehouse on Pukekiwiriki Place: 2929m², $13.9 million, November 2017
Showroom & warehouse units on Highbrook Drive: 1730m², $7.9 million, December 2017.

Mr Dakin said: “Completing the development programme at Highbrook is a key priority, and these new projects are timed to take advantage of the positive customer demand & strong market conditions that currently exist.”

Highbrook’s current value exceeds $1 billion, making it Goodman’s largest investment asset. The 110ha estate is about 70% of the way through its planned development and contains over 40 buildings, providing over 380,000m² of warehouse & office space.

The Crossing – the commercial heart – provides accommodation, business support services, food & hospitality options and other amenity & recreational opportunities.

Mr Dakin said: “High occupancy levels at the Quest and a shortage of visitor accommodation in Auckland are the catalysts for a substantial new expansion project that will double the number of serviced apartments at The Crossing. Following the success of the recently completed Building 5, we are also commencing another new office facility and developing an adjoining multi-storey carpark.”

The trust’s industrial portfolio has a 100% occupancy rate, and the 2 new warehouse developments are aimed at continuing Goodman’s highly successful build-to-lease programme: “With most projects leasing well before completion, it’s been an effective strategy that is growing cash earnings and improving an already high quality property portfolio,” Mr Dakin said.

Attribution: Company release.

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Fletcher Building cuts earnings guidance by $110 million

Fletcher Building Ltd has dropped its range earnings guidance for the year to June by $110 million (before interest, tax & significant items).

The range when chief executive Mark Adamson (above) delivered the half-year results on 22 February was $720-760 million. The range now is $610-650 million.

Mr Adamson said today: “The revised guidance is due to the identification of additional estimated losses & downside risk in the buildings & interiors business unit of the construction division.

“A thorough review of the buildings & interiors business & projects began in late calendar year 2016 and led to new management & governance processes. A significant loss was recorded for buildings & interiors in the half-year results based on the best estimate available at the time. However, management has now identified an increase in the estimated loss on the major construction project which was referenced at the time of the announcement of the first-half results, and the identification of downside risk on other buildings & interiors projects, with the majority being a provision for expected losses on one other major project….

“For reasons of client confidentiality, we will not name the projects. We expect one of the projects to complete within the next few months, and the other is targeting completion in the 2019 financial year.”

The second project had been expected to make a $10 million ebit contribution to 2018 earnings.

Mr Adamson said all other business units within the construction division had continued their strong trading performance. “However, taking into account the new estimates of profitability for the commercial construction projects, it is now expected that the construction division as a whole will report a loss at the ebit level for the 2017 financial year.

“Trading for Fletcher Building’s other divisions remains in line with expectations previously discussed in the first-half earnings commentary.”

Specific questions

In a Q&A section of his release, Mr Adamson said: “The major projects involved are large & highly complex. Project reports & reviews received since the half-year results announcement have indicated significantly higher costs to complete the projects, and have also enabled improved quantification of remaining risks. In addition, the detailed review by new management has led to downward revisions in expected profits on a number of smaller projects.

“The most significant issues relate to complexity in design, subcontractor management and building programme delivery on key projects. This has led to an extension of project timelines and increase in project resource requirements & costs, relative to original budgets. The extent of this has become more apparent since the half-year announcement as new management & processes have bedded in.”

As a result of this debacle, Mr Adamson said Fletcher Building had appointed a chief operating officer for the construction division, a new head of risk & governance in the construction division, and a new general manager of the buildings & interiors business unit would start shortly. We have new finance leadership & processes along with the recent implementation of a new financial management reporting system. The criteria for bidding major construction projects have been made more stringent, and internal review processes for proposed & existing projects have been strengthened. We believe these changes will drive improvement in future periods.”

Would the update also impact the outlook for financial year 2018? Mr Adamson said: “Fletcher Building does not provide guidance beyond the current financial year, however we have tried to be conservative in estimating the losses in the current construction book, and trading in our other divisions remains in line with our expectations.”

Mr Adamson said he wouldn’t discuss potential claims: “We do not discuss matters related to claims publicly. Whenever we have issues on a construction project, we endeavour to work constructively with our clients & other relevant parties to resolve them. Where we have a robust basis for a claim we will consider our position carefully.

Do these issues point to a systemic issue in your construction book? “We don’t think these issues are systemic because they are primarily related to programme & design challenges on a small number of major projects. We are very cognisant of pressure on labour & sub-contractor resource in the New Zealand construction industry at present, and need to ensure we manage this effectively in current projects & future bids. We believe that the changes we are making to strengthen our governance, management processes & bidding criteria and review & approval processes will enable improved performance in the future.

What proportion of the contracts in the construction book are fixed price? “Our current construction backlog is about $2.7 billion. Of this, about $1.5 billion is in the buildings & interiors business. All but one of our major projects underway in buildings & interiors is either a ‘fixed price lump sum’ or ‘guaranteed maximum price’ contract. This is standard in the commercial construction industry. We do not believe the issues we have uncovered relate to contract type, but rather challenges related to programme & design complexity in key projects.”

Has the growth in the buildings & interiors business been driven by a deliberate strategy to boost volume growth for the building products division? “Building products operates as an independent division to construction and supplies product to the construction division’s projects on arm’s length terms. We estimate that sales from building products businesses to buildings & interiors make up less than 5% of total building products revenue.”

Despite the reduction in forecast cashflows from the construction division in financial year 2017, Mr Adamson said the company remained comfortably within its banking covenants & target debt metrics and expected to continue to do so: “Based on the updated guidance range, we expect the ratio of net debt:net debt + equity to be around 34% at the end of financial year 2017, and the ratio of net debt:ebitda to be about 2.4 times.”

Earlier story:
19 July 2017: Fletcher Building to explain construction loss Monday morning

Attribution: Company release.

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Stokes turn eyes from retirement villages to luxury apartments on Avon

Retirement village owners & operators Chris & Jenny Stokes, who sold their interests in the Aria villages to newly listed retirement village operator Arvida Group Ltd in 2015, have come up with a different proposition for their hometown, Christchurch.

They lodged the resource consent application last week for the luxury Upper House Apartments at 108 Park Terrace, across the Avon River from North Hagley Park, and plan to build 4 430m² apartments & a 680m² 2-storey penthouse in the exclusive development.

Harcourts marketing agent Grant Chappell said the building would combine superior design & materials with innovative structural systems to ensure protection from natural disasters.

Mr Stokes said there was demand for generously sized properties with 5-star home comforts as well as the security, privacy & low maintenance of apartment living: “Multi-unit apartment blocks are everywhere, but Upper House has been developed with luxury & sophistication in mind.

“We want people to enjoy the benefits of an apartment without living in a shoebox. Upper House will be the only large format apartments on the market that are opulent, stylish & functional.”

The 3-bedroom homes will have 2.7m-high ceilings, climate control, open plan living, a media room, a home office, 2 basement parking spaces, storage, a car washdown area, bicycle parks and a lift.

“The outdoor terrace & garden is 50m², which is bigger than a double garage. With an outdoor kitchen & gas fire, it’s the perfect place to entertain friends or enjoy a quiet moment to yourself. The penthouse takes it one step further with a 105m² upper level including a rooftop terrace garden where you can enjoy endless views of the river, treetops, Hagley’s Lake Victoria & the snow-covered Southern Alps.”

Each apartment, designed by Daniel Sullivan and Kate Loader of Architects’ Creative, has a large European-style kitchen with walk-in pantry, breakfast bar & bench space.

The Stokes engaged structural engineer Orlando Barcena from Centraus and Christchurch soil specialists Geotech Engineering to design a pile foundation reaching to Canterbury shingle to ensure solid bearing: “The foundation & basement design use steel framing with buckling restrained braces, which means occupants are not only protected in the event of seismic activity but any damage can be quickly & easily repaired.”

They’re anticipating a 3-month resource consent process, enabling a construction start in September.

The apartments are priced from $3.25 million to $5.7 million for the penthouse.

Attribution: Agency release, Companies Register.

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Hotel proposal unveiled for Simunovich site on Viaduct

Viaduct Harbour Holdings Ltd unveiled plans yesterday for a luxury hotel to replace the Simunovich Fisheries building at One Market Square – on the Viaduct Basin and across the water from Fu Wah International Group’s Park Hyatt Hotel rising in the Wynyard Quarter.

Colliers has been appointed to undertake a global search for a development partner. Its international expressions of interest campaign will close on Tuesday 2 May.

The proposed 165-room hotel would have a 12,000m² floor area on 12 floors on a 1288m² footprint, and a rooftop bar.

One Market Square on the Viaduct Basin cbd towers to left & right in the background.

Viaduct Harbour Holdings chief executive Angela Bull said the company would make the preliminary design by Warren & Mahoney available to the successful development partner, and the development partnership model would keep the waterfront site in New Zealand ownership.

Ms Bull said the Market Square site was exceptional, directly facing the harbour on 2 sides and offering stunning views of Auckland.

“Viaduct Harbour is an outstanding lifestyle precinct in Auckland with unrivalled access to the water, quality restaurants, apartments & an international marina. One Market Square is perfectly positioned for a world-class hotel that will add to the vibrancy & attractiveness of the precinct.”

Colliers national hotels director Dean Humphries said the surge in visitor arrivals in recent years had led to a critical shortage of quality hotel accommodation.

“The Government predicts that Auckland will likely need another 4300 new hotel rooms over the next decade to keep up with current demand projections. The timing is right for this unrivalled site to be developed to its optimal use.”

The owners of Viaduct Harbour Holdings Ltd (the families of Mark Wyborn, Trevor Farmer, Alan Gibbs & Ross Green) bought 28ha around Viaduct Harbour from Ports of Auckland Ltd in 1996. The company has retained the land interest and sold leasehold interests.

The hotel would replace the Simunovich Fisheries building fronting Market Square at the turn of the Viaduct Basin towards the Lighter Basin. Across the water, the ASB Centre and the Park Hyatt on Halsey St.

The Park Hyatt

Across the water on Auckland Council leasehold land in the Wynyard Quarter, the joint venture between local company Hawkins Group Ltd (sold by the McConnell family to Downer EDI Ltd of Australia 10 days ago) & China Construction NZ Ltd is 9 months into construction the Park Hyatt, which is scheduled for completion late next year. It will have a total floor area of 29,000m² & 195 rooms.

China Construction (China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd) is headquartered in Shanghai and listed on the stock exchange there, and Fu Wah is based in Beijing.

Earlier stories:
9 March 2017: McConnells follow up Harker deal with Hawkins sale to Downer
3 July 2016: Hawkins & China Construction in joint venture to build Park Hyatt on Viaduct Basin
9 September 2015: Waterfront Park Hyatt gets consent
21 November 2014: Chinese hotel on Viaduct waterfront to be a Park Hyatt
16 April 2014: Update: Wynyard hotel construction cost closer to $700,000, leasehold factors undisclosed

Attribution: Agency release.

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2 large units sell in Epsom & Mission Bay

An Epsom townhouse and the middle apartment (lit) of 3 in a block above Mission Bay’s beach were sold at Bayleys auctions this week.

Isthmus east


9A Onslow Avenue:
Features: 2-bedroom townhouse, garage
Outcome: sold for $1.29 million
Agent: Lindy Lawton

Mission Bay

19 Selwyn Avenue, unit 2:
Features: cross-leased, 1/3 share in 1196m², 165m² including balconies, air-conditioned 3-bedroom apartment, 2 bathrooms, lift, study, 2 parking spaces
Outgoings: rates $5302/year including gst, maintenance fee $1800/year
Outcome: sold for $3.1 million
Agents: Gary & Vicki Wallace

Attribution: Agency release.

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