Happiness House’s home sold

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Sold: 4 Park Street, Queenstown

A prime site near the heart of Queenstown sold at auction last Friday for more than $2.2 million, after almost 20 minutes of toe-to-toe bidding.

It is believed to be one of the highest sales in the resort in terms of the square metre price for land zoned for high density residential development.

The property, at 4 Park St, near the Queenstown Gardens and the CBD, has not been on the market for 25 years – for the last 13 of those it has been home to Queenstown’s Happiness House.

In March, the community support centre was given notice once its lease expired in October 2018 it would not be renewed. Soon after, the property was put on the market.

There are two dwellings on the 693sqm corner section – the main dwelling, occupied by Happiness House, which was built in the 1950s and has three bedrooms and one bathroom, and another 50sqm dwelling in front of it. Its CV is $980,000.

Last Friday there was standing room only at the beginning of the monthly Bayleys auction, held at the Sofitel Hotel, in which eight properties went under the hammer.

Happiness House was the second order of business for auctioneer Daniel Caulson, who described it as a “historic sale”.

“It’s been in our current owners’ hands for some quarter of a century – an opportunity like this is very, very unlikely to arise again,” Caulson told the packed room.

Bidding opened at $950,000 – 17 minutes, 40 seconds and a total of 46 bids later, primarily between three parties, the gavel fell for a phone bidder, who stumped up $2.213million.

Bayleys Queenstown big boss David Gubb says that’s $3193 per square metre.

“I guess, at the end of the day, it was a special site, though – close to town with a nice aspect … we thought it was a … unique offering, so it was quite a hard thing to price, but we thought it was a good result.”

Settlement is July 28.

Gubb says the new owner already has other interests in Queenstown and he understands the buildings will ultimately be demolished and the site redeveloped.

However, it has been purchased with the tenants in place, meaning that would have to wait until at least October next year.

Under Queenstown council’s zoning regulations, the maximum building height allowed for future development on the section is 8m, or two storeys.

Otago Daily Times