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Up and down: Millbrook's new Mill Farm course presents contrasting vistas

By PHILIP CHANDLER

Six years after Arrowtown’s Millbrook Resort bought a neighbouring farm, the first 12 sections in the new $50 million Mill Farm development went on sale last Thursday.

Part of The Grand Terrace enclave, they’re in Millbrook’s most elevated area — a 24-lot plateau 460 to 475 metres above sea level.

They have immediate views of seven of nine new golf holes and interlinking
sheep paddocks, and spectacular mountain views further out.

The Grand Traverse is also studded with rocky canyons, a waterfall and high mountain tarns.

The sections for sale range from 1644 square metres to 3333sqm.

‘‘Some have got fairway outlooks, some are rural, some have got both,’’ Millbrook director of property and development Ben O’Malley says.

‘‘Lots facing directly on to paddocks include ha-ha walls to ensure fences don’t obstruct views while still containing stock.’’

Millbrook’s looking for offers over $3.5m for that largest section, which would break the resort record of $3.1m.

Offers below that, down to about $2m, are expected on the others.

They’re being released for deadline tender, closing October 29.

‘‘We give people a price guide,’’ O’Malley says.

‘‘It’s up to them to decide what they want to pay for them.’’

Millbrook’s already sold about six others to existing members — ‘‘we had a few people knocking the door down during Covid’’ — while the balance will be retained for house-and-land opportunities.

O’Malley explains design guidelines have been subtly amended for The Grand Terrace to allow for darker, more recessive colours, all-native planting, and some variation to
permitted roof and wall claddings.

The 18 lower Willow Glen sections, above Mill Stream and riparian wetlands, have still to be released.

Going by recent trends, Millbrook shouldn’t struggle to sell Mill Farm.

Since lockdown, an eye-watering $50m or so of new and resale property’s been traded.

Five sales have fetched $5m-plus including a year-high $5.7m.

O’Malley says high levels of interest in Mill Farm’s reminiscent of the ‘‘flight to quality’’ experienced after the GFC.

‘‘We were surprised by the levels of interest and sales conducted around the wider resort even during lockdown, which has put us on a really good financial footing for the Mill Farm
development.’’

Meanwhile, he says Mill Farm’s a testament to the team of contractors and staff, led by Signal Management Group, who’ve had about 60 workers on the project for two years.

The new nine holes — designed by Arrowtowner Greg Turner and Scotland-based Scott Macpherson — should be playable by next September, though Millbrook members will get
some soft opening opportunities early next year.

With Millbrook set to now have two 18-hole championship courses, O’Malley says between Labour Weekend and Easter, each will open to members and guests on alternate days.

‘‘Hopefully our guests stay another night to play the alternate course.’’

scoop@scene.co.nz