Village developer sheds contractors

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'Backlog cleared: Construction work at Queenstown Country Club PICTURE: JAMES ALLAN PHOTOGRAPHY

A Queenstown retirement village developer has taken contract builders off the job now his construction backlog’s cleared.

Queenstown Country Club’s Fraser Sanderson says his 24 builders got behind schedule, “so the only way we could do it was to get some contractors in to help them out”.

The top-up workers helped to build homes pre-sold to retirees and also village infrastructure like footpaths.

“We had a situation last year with people selling their houses within six weeks and then expecting a [Queenstown Country Club] house to be ready for them, and we had a lot of pressure on us.”

He notes that in the current property market, people’s homes are taking longer to sell, which he says he doesn’t mind as it relieves the pressure on his workforce.

He confirms he currently has 25 homes occupied, 13 under construction for clients, and nine deals.

Beyond building more homes, Sanderson says his next priority is a medical centre and childcare centre, both of which he’s leased out to local operators – foundations for these are going in right now.

He’s also hoping to start on the village clubhouse and resthome/hospital towards the end of this year.

Already an established North Island operator, Invercargill-raised Sanderson says he’s in it for the long haul.

“If I was money-driven, I wouldn’t be building a Warren and Mahoney [architecturally-designed] retirement village – there’s no other retirement village in New Zealand to that high standard.

“It’s my name and reputation, and I want to do something good for the community, and long term I think everyone benefits from it.”