Prime site flick-off

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Construction of a vehicle depot being touted as Queenstown’s best commercial property investment for years is underway. 

Developer Porter Group this week started building a 690sq m rental vehicle depot for Tourism Holdings Ltd at the entrance to Remarkables Park Town Centre, which it also developed. 

The 5000sq m Lucas Place property – adjacent to Queenstown International Airport – is also being leased to Telecom Mobile for a cellphone tower. 

Real estate company Colliers International is marketing the property. 

“We haven’t seen a commercial property investment of this calibre come to the market in Queenstown for some time,” local Colliers commercial broker Mark Simpson says. 

Simpson points to not only the site’s high-profile location beside the fast-growing Remarkables Park Town Centre, but also the property’s income potential. 

While not disclosing rental levels, he says the 15-year and 12-year leases to THL and Telecom, respectively, include regular rent reviews. 

Colliers is selling the property by deadline private treaty, closing November 11. 

“The reason we haven’t put a price on it is we honestly don’t know because it’s been a long time since we’ve had something of this quality,” Simpson says. 

Taking into account land values in this area of $500 to $600 per sq m, Mountain Scene understands the property, once developed, should fetch $3 million-plus. 

Construction firm Amalgamated Builders has been engaged to erect the building, designed by Dunedin architects Mason & Wales. 

The depot will house THL’s rental vehicle fleet, including the Maui, Britz and Backpacker campervan brands, and incorporate offices, maintenance space and a valet area. 

Once completed in February, THL will vacate its premises on Frankton’s Glenda Drive. 

Porter Group director John Porter says THL’s commitment to the property reflects the site’s strategic location. 

“The development of Lucas Place at the entrance to Remarkables Park and Queenstown International Airport benefits substantially from the ongoing growth of Remarkables Park Town Centre, the growth in the wider Queenstown region and related demand for retail and tourism products and services,” Porter says. 

This side has been subdivided from a 1.3ha parcel bordering Lucas Place, Hawthorne Road and Riverside Rd. 

A section on the Remarkables Park site has been bought by Queenstowner Graeme Hill and is the subject of a resource consent for a GWD Russells-owned car showroom. 

Work has also started on an Audi, Volkswagen and Subaru car dealership on the other side of the roundabout, behind Wakatipu New World. 

Porter Group, meanwhile, is planning to develop a further 30,000sq m of commercial space in the Remarkables Park zone, including a number of large-format and specialty retail stores, and 1000 more carparks. 

That’s on top of the town centre’s 28,000sq m of existing commercial space. 

Simpson adds: “Remarkables Park is one of the key areas which is reaping the benefits of Queenstown’s economic growth including a rising population, renewed commercial confidence and exponential growth in overseas flights and tourism into the region, particularly from across the Tasman.” 

Simpson points to a national Colliers commercial property investor confidence survey. 

This reveals that confidence in Queenstown has been rising every quarter since June 2009. 

“Queenstown’s almost leading the charge,” he says.