Lakeview race nears the finish-line

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Queenstown’s council’s about to name a preferred development partner for a massive housing/commercial precinct on the resort’s Lakeview site.

It’s a two-horse race between Melbourne-based Ninety Four Feet, with a quarter share held by New Zealand property fund manager Augusta Capital, and Malaysian-based MRCB, supported by a Christchurch project management consultancy.

The preferred bidder will probably be announced within the next week or two.

The prize is the right to develop about three-and-a-half hectares of prime council land at the top of Man Street – formerly the Queenstown Motor Park, it’s now occupied by cabins rented mainly to local workers.

Under the previous council it was controversially touted as a location for a convention centre.

Council strategic projects manager Paul Speedy says the development’s main focus is residential, with housing, including worker accommodation, for about 1500 people.

“The more people we can have living in close proximity to the town centre, the better.”

However there’s also scope for visitor accommodation.

Buildings up against the hill can go as high as 26 metres, in places.

He notes the development will be broken into about nine lots.

“When [the chosen development partner] has delivered what they said they would, and then they give us the money for the land, then we give them a title – so they can’t land bank.”