Showing a huge appetite for Queenstown property is New Zealand-wide apartment developer and builder Safari Group.
It’s just started selling units in its fifth, and largest, local hotel and residential apartment complex, TRYP Remarkables Park, which will start construction in about August.
Four years ago, Safari opened Ramada Remarkables Park, two years ago it opened the nearby Wyndham Garden and last spring it opened Ramada Queenstown Central.
It’s now well underway with another Remarkables Park complex, Ramada Kawarau River, which has been renamed LQ (short for ‘La Quinta’) by Wyndham Kawarau River.
It comprises 91 hotel and 96 residential apartments – with only one hotel unit and about eight residential units left to sell – and is due for completion by the end of the year.
TRYP Remarkables Park, down the road from the first Ramada and Wyndham Garden, will comprise 147 hotel and serviced investment apartments and 64 residential apartments.
With a retail development value of about $120 million, it will be Safari’s first local five-star property and four-and-a-half star.
Safari owner Rob Neil says the five-star rating reflects the quality of its finish and greater range of amenities, including an indoor pool, gym and health and beauty spa, as well as a restaurant and bar.
Like Ramada, Wyndham Garden and La Quinta, TRYP’s a brand owned by the world’s largest hotel group, Wyndham.
Neil says it’s a funky, milllennial-style brand, and has an art component – in Queenstown’s case, “our art story is going to be about native NZ birds”.
He’s appointed local Bayleys agents Kate Fairmaid and Grant Coburn to sell TRYP alongside out-of-town and out-of-NZ agents.
Prices range from $319,000 for a studio hotel unit, $595,000 for a one-bedroom serviced investment apartment and $625,000 for a one-bedroom residential apartment – the highest price is $1,300,000 (including GST) for a three-bedroom, 106 square metre residential apartment.
The guaranteed gross return is up to 6.11 per cent.
“It’s better than your money sitting in the bank,” Fairmaid says.
Neil notes the hotel and serviced apartment units are exempt from the residential foreign buyer ban, while he’s applying to exempt 60 per cent of his residential stock.
Coburn adds: “The international buying exemption is what makes this development so appealing as it’s currently one of the only developments in Queenstown offering non-residents the opportunity to purchase here.”
Meanwhile, it’s no surprise four of Neil’s first five complexes are at Frankton’s Remarkables Park.
“You cannot go and find land in town to make it financially viable.
“We were lucky to find the Frankton Road [Ramada Queenstown Central] site, which I argued at the time was too expensive but in reality I probably stole it.”
Neil says he doesn’t need Remarkables Park developer Alastair Porter’s long-proposed conference centre and gondola to survive, “but when they do come, they will add a hell of a lot of cream to what we’re doing”.
Asked why he has so much faith in Queenstown, he points to how he’s sold out his projects, as well as how well they’re performing – Ramada Queenstown Central, for example, is well exceeding his expectations.
“I wouldn’t be here otherwise.
“[TRYP] is my fifth one, and you think I’m going to stop there?”