Get wheels in motion


Lodge needs courtesy coach – agent

Realtors selling a worker-housing complex at Arthurs Point have advice for would-be buyers – put on a commuter van for tenants and guests.

The company behind the 98-room Stormcat Lodge, which opened last winter, went into receivership
three months ago.

Owner-operator Tanya Chapple found it hard to attract tenants because Arthurs Point, 6km from Queenstown, isn’t served by public transport.

A new owner should factor the cost of a regular commuter-van service into the price, says local Colliers International broker Alastair Wood. Colliers expects wide interest because the lodge suits the budget visitor as well as workers.

Buyers could include local accommodation operators wanting to expand, large Queenstown employers looking for staff housing, education providers and tourism wholesalers, Wood says.

The lodge comprises 96 studios of 30sq m, with their own cooking and bathroom facilities, two larger one-bedroom units, three common rooms and nine laundries. The advertised tariff is $260 a week but the going rate has been $100 less.

There’s also consent for another 24-unit building.

A solo mum from New Plymouth, Chapple bought the 1.4ha site for $2.5 million and spent $10.5m building the complex.

Her company has gone under owing $17m in principal, outstanding interest and associated costs to Dominion Finance Group – itself in receivership.

Wood expects Stormcat, which has a capital value of $12.4m, to sell for less than replacement cost, however.
“The nature of the sale (by deadline private treaty) means that the receivers are keen to get this matter resolved as quickly as possible.

“And recent receivership mortgagee sales have been reflecting heavy discounting below replacement cost – sometimes less than half.”

According to the receivers’ first report, the lodge is still trading but occupancy levels have been low – Chapple remains manager/caretaker.

But a new owner will have to do more than stump up for a van and pay a driver.

According to the Colliers information memorandum, the purchaser will have to pay $300,000 plus GST in outstanding development levies so the building can get a code compliance certificate – it
can still trade because it has a certificate of public use.

A new owner also has to pay $35,000 plus GST to complete landscaping, although the receivers will finish carpark sealing at their cost. The sales deadline is September 10.