Land shuffle

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Jack’s Point multi-million-dollar section-go-round.

The developers of Queenstown’s 700-section Jack’s Point subdivision are selling their last 100 unserviced lots to Dunedin City Council-owned electricity contractor Delta.

The multi-million dollar deal, at an undisclosed price, comes after a Hanover Finance-linked company opted out of buying another 100 sections on top of the 250 already bought.

As part of the section-go-round, Fletcher Residential – which has already built 45 homes at Jack’s Point – will pick up 50 sites originally earmarked for Hanover’s company.

A month ago, Delta – which last year took a $4 m stake in Queenstowner Jim Boult’s Luggate subdivision near Wanaka – was appointed “preferred contractor” at Jack’s Point.

Jack’s Point co-founder John Darby says Delta will eventually put in roads and other infrastructure on its 10ha parcel – north-east of the residential golf resort’s clubhouse/restaurant and man-made lake – but will tap into existing water and sewerage headworks.

“It’s interesting that Dunedin City Council will now have a stake in the Queenstown community,” Darby says.
Two years ago he and fellow co-founder George Kerr sold their residential development company to Australian-listed Babcock and Brown Residential Land Partners, which this summer will market the other 50 lots Hanover is no longer contracted for.

These are some of Jack’s Point’s larger sites and the best-located, Darby says.

He maintains the secret to developing Jack’s Point was the early sell-down of large tracts of residential land, fetching more than $130m, to both Hanover and Fletcher Residential – the latter took 200 sections, mainly for house-land packages.

It meant the developers could then fund infrastructure without incurring massive debt.

Darby’s company, Darby Partners, remains project manager and will help smaller developers and builders put up homes at Jack’s Point.

He quotes Queenstown Lakes District Council population stats suggesting the Wakatipu needs about 260 new homes a year.

A third or more of that could be met by Jack’s Point, Darby says – it’s already accounted for 29 per cent of section sales in the Wakatipu since last November.

“We’ve significantly added to the stock of residential land at no cost to the ratepayer.”

Darby confirms that plans for large-scale commercial and village development around the clubhouse and lake, in conjunction with giant Canadian resort company Intrawest, are on hold – but they’ll be reviewed this summer.

Some visitor accommodation – possibly 24 one-bedroom suites – is on the drawing board, however, along with some locals’ housing.

As part of its resource consent, Jack’s Point has already paid $3.5m to the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust, but Darby says the development will still incorporate some lower-cost housing.

At the upmarket end of the scale, the original developers have sold all but three of 36 premium lots in The Preserve, overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the golf course, at an average $2 m each.

The first multi-million dollar Preserve house has just been completed and a second will follow in spring.

Planning now starts on phase two of Jack’s Point – a further 700 lots, adjoining Kelvin Heights, also owned by Babcock and Brown.