A trophy land bank near the lake put up for mortgagee sale

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Strong interest is expected in the mortgagee sale of 41.6 hectares of lake-facing land at Bob’s Cove, near Queenstown. 

The parcel – covering both sides of Glenorchy Road, 12km from Queenstown – is bordered by Punatapu Lodge in the east and Fisherman’s Lane to the west. 

It was originally marketed for a residential/resort development called Bob’s Cove Nature Reserve by Bob’s Cove Ltd. 

The company – associated with now-bankrupt developers John Reid and father and son Dan and Kelly McEwan – developed 15 elevated rural residential house sites on the top side of Glenorchy Rd. 

From 1600sq m to about 3800sq m each, they were marketed for about $600,000 a pop but none sold. 

On the 29ha lake side of the road, Bob’s Cove Ltd planned up to 89 lots, resort facilities like a hotel, restaurant, bar, gym and indoor swimming pool, and a nature reserve. 

However, as the credit crunch hit, second mortgage holder Strategic Nominees, which was owed $10,221,595, called in receivers two years ago. 

First-ranking mortgagee New Zealand Guardian Trust – owed $5,223,000 – has now instructed Harcourts Queenstown agent Warwick Osborne to sell the property. 

“Without a doubt, this land has that ‘X’ factor,” Osborne says. 

“It is a large parcel and will attract very good interest based on its location. 

“It’s scenic and close to Queenstown, and that’s why you see so many beautiful homes being built in places like Alpine Retreat and Closeburn, and lodges out there like Matakauri, Punatapu and Blanket Bay.” 

Osborne identifies four types of prospective buyer. 

First up are developers “who will potentially do something with it – though there are not as many developers as there once were”. 

Two other categories are property syndicates, and “astute investors” who might land-bank the property for the future. 

“Then we’ve got people who are just looking for a trophy bit of land close to Queenstown where they could build a very upmarket home,” Osborne says. 

“Over time they might reduce the risk of the project by selling off the 15 lots across the highway.” 

Osborne doubts the land will be intensively developed – “maybe less is more”. 

The mortgagee has committed “a very strong-profile marketing budget to go global in a number of online publications and print media”, he says. 

The sale deadline is April 15 though prior offers will also be considered, Osborne says. 

Osborne has successfully sold several tranches of development land round Queenstown over the past two years, including three sites below Frankton Rd.