Lending hold-up: A render of the exterior of the first of three planned Toru apratment buildings at Remarkables Park


Developers of the Toru apartment complex at Frankton’s Remarkables Park say they’re ready to start on the second of three buildings, but are struggling to attract financing.

This month the first building, comprising 78 one- and two-bedroom units, including 50 purchased by the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust for affordable housing, was publicly unveiled.

New Ground Capital property director Matt Heal says the company’s got consent for three buildings all up — totalling 236 units — and they’ve got building consent to start on the second.

But given the changes to the rental market resulting from Covid, ‘‘it’s very hard for us to get bank [assistance]’’.

‘‘Ideally, we’d be building it now because when the borders open all those same housing
pressures will [return].

‘‘You and I know as soon as the planes start flying, there’ll be a huge surge [in demand] — you’re going to see that same workforce coming back, but then it’s going to take two years to build it.’’

Heal says part of the lending hesitation is because many Airbnb properties reverted to long-term rentals last year, taking pressure off the rental market.

Also because of a drop in rental rates, banks have concerns over the return on potential investment at the moment.

But, he says, the project would provide employment and starting it now would help future-proof the market when the demand returns.

‘‘It’s very difficult for us, as property developers, to raise that money right now in those conditions.’’