Park life picks up

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Increased demand is fuelling a development spree around Frankton’s Remarkables Park shopping centre.
For the first time, Remarkables Park developers, brothers Alastair, John and Neville Porter, have put significant commercial land around the centre up for sale. 

They’re marketing two high-profile corner sites near the centre’s entranceway, either side of the Lucas Place/Hawthorne Drive/Riverside Road roundabout, through Colliers International. 

The 1.3ha site has a capital valuation of $6 million and the 1976sq m plot by New World supermarket is valued at $500,000. 

“We effectively want to keep pulling the commercial part of Remarkables Park towards the state highway,” Alastair Porter says. 

The Porters are also completing leasing for a $7.5m 2000sq m building south of the shopping centre, to open by Christmas, with another next door, at least 3000sq m in size, to follow. 

“The market has picked up,” Alastair says. 

“We’ve had more enquiry for property in the first six weeks of this year than we had in the whole of 2009.”
The Porters also won’t be unmindful that the Five Mile hole on the other side of the airport, now it’s out of receivers’ hands, is also due for commercial development this year. 

The Porters are happy to sell the two vacant sites for other parties to develop or do it themselves then sell the leaseholds. 

Their deadline for sale by private treaty is April 1. 

Alastair says there’s already an offer on the smaller site for showroom-related retail – the land has a valuable 18m height limit. 

He expects the larger site to also attract commercial/retail interest. 

Its current zoning is “mixed airport use” but the Porters also have covenants that prevent industrial use. 

“We’re not interested in a bus workshop there,” Alastair says. 

The sites, with an annual three million vehicle count, will also be on the future eastern access loop road round the airport. 

The larger one’s also likely to expand by 3000sq m when Lucas Pl is straightened – the new owner has to buy that land at market price. 

Earthworks for Remarkables Park’s eastern-end expansion have already begun – the Porters gifted 700,000 cubic metres of fill to Queenstown Airport Corporation for its “runway end safety extension” over the Shotover Delta. 

Included in the brothers’ plans are a doubling of the shopping centre’s present size, including large-format stores, and a “care centre” with a Southern Cross private hospital and large retirement complex. 

Alastair also hopes to start marketing 20 high-priced residential sections overlooking the Kawarau River this year.
“We think they’ll be the best sections that have been offered in Queenstown for quite a long period of time,” he says. 

The developers are also working on their first building, a large upmarket restaurant, in a proposed resort village also adjoining the river. 

While the Porters progress development plans for their 1190ha deer farm, Auckland-based DNZ Property Group – which bought the existing shopping centre two years ago for about $100m – is also expanding.
DNZ expects to start work on a single-storey 1000sq m building, opposite New World, in April, for completion by Christmas. 

It’s finalising tenancies for the building, which will have an investment value of about $7m.