Local developer Graham Wilkinson believes his Brecon Street hotel/commercial site — currently occupied by Queenstown Mini Golf — is hard to beat, but he’s selling it to concentrate on developing retirement villages.
Brecon Street Partnership Ltd, which he’s 75% owner of, bought the site in 2004.
‘‘The reason I got involved, you don’t have to be too property-savvy to understand it was going to be just a matter of time before Brecon St became a focal point.
‘‘You can see it now with the redevelopment of the gondola, which is massive — 50% of the people who go to Queenstown go on that gondola.’’
He also points to the new Upper Village entertainment precinct, directly opposite, and the 61-suite Radisson Hotel, under construction on the Brecon St/Man St corner.
‘‘The whole street has be come quite a thoroughfare.
‘‘At the end of the day, where do you find an area where you can get big lake views, close to the gondola, minutes from town?
‘‘It’s hard to beat.’’
Originally, the site’s zoning had a 15.5-metre height limit as part of the Lakeview sub-zone.
Wilkinson, however, secured a land swap, giving away a 20m-wide strip along the cemetery for a new road, and taking a same-size parcel over the current Cemetery Road.
He’d build the new road for between $750,000 and $1 million.
The land swap eliminates what he calls ‘‘a very confused intersection at the corner of Isle St, Brecon St and Cemetery Rd’’.
It also smoothed the way for an adjusted 23m height limit, though he’d originally sought more.
In 2019, he finally got consent for 393 hotel rooms in four linked buildings around a commercial complex of 12 tenancies.
Wilkinson was looking for a joint venture with ‘‘a very well-heeled party’’ to carry out the project, but ‘‘Covid washed that out and people moved on, and so have I’’.
Now 64, he says ‘‘I haven’t got that many years left in my professional career’’, so, rather than do everything, he’s concentrating on building retirement villages in Auckland, particularly, and the Bay of Plenty.
He’s now sold three other hotel properties, including Queenstown’s Sofitel, and only kept his interest in the resort’s St Moritz, which he developed 25 years ago.
He won’t ‘‘second-guess’’ what a new owner might do on Brecon St.
The 3909 square metre site’s rateable value is $23,850,000, ‘‘but at the end of the day, the market will tell me what it’s worth’’.
It’ll be a bit sad, he admits, to see the mini golf business, which he now owns, lost to town.
‘‘It’s probably one of the most successful attractions in town because it is the only thing you can do, as a family, for $50.’’
According to the information memorandum, its turnover’s ranged between $260,000 and $300,000 a year.
The property’s being marketed by local Colliers agents Barry Robertson and Steve McIsaac for sale by deadline private treaty, closing March 9.