Another round for pub site

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The former Arthurs Point Tavern site near Queenstown’s on the market.

But the current owner, millionaire property developer Paul Halford, says he’d entertain a joint-venture with the right person.

A billboard appeared recently at the 3105 square metre property on Gorge Road – a five-minute drive from Queenstown.

Halford, who has owned the land since 2005 with former Queenstown councillor Rick Pettit, says it has no resource consent but there’s an indicative scheme for a boutique pub and apartments and a small store.

It was consented for apartments by the previous owners – while the historic pub was still there – but the consents have lapsed.

“The market’s looking more positive,” Halford tells Mountain Scene. “I decided it should be sold.”

“Somebody might do a better job of it than I would.”

He’d personally entertain a joint-venture, if the right partner could be found, he says.

Why has it taken a decade to decide to sell?

Halford – who divides his time between Auckland and Queenstown – says it took some time to organise a landswap with the council to realign the road.

He reckons it’s a good site which lends itself to a multi-level development.

Also, ‘old’ Arthurs Point – on the Queenstown side of the Edith Cavell bridge – has very little commercial development.

Halford: “As you go up the site there’s quite a pleasant view of the gorge.

“It faces the right direction.I think it’s a nice site to do some apartments on.”

Halford and Pettit still own the carpark across the road which snakes along the lip of the road, overlooking the Shotover River.

Halford quips it’s “well-known for conceiving certain children”.

In 2009, Pettit said the carpark site was earmarked for a development with retail, office, visitor accommodation and residential units.

But Halford’s staying mum on their plans.

“It’s just on hold at this stage – we haven’t decided what to do with that.”

The property’s being marketed in a low-key, local way.

Have there been any nibbles?

Halford says there have been a few inquiries, adding: “But I can’t say the nibbles are shark-like.”

The first pub was established at Arthurs Point in 1882 – but the building demolished in 2011 was not original.

It had been burned down, rebuilt and modified.

In the summer of 2012, the council realigned Gorge Road.

Then Queenstown’s council spent $1.4 million widening nearby McChesney bridge to two lanes.

david@scene.co.nz