Land from failed project on market

An aerial photograph showing Lake's Edge, an undeveloped 4ha site on the shore of Lake Wakatipu and beside Kawarau Village, comprising the Hilton Queenstown and the Kawarau Hotel at Kelvin Heights. Photo by Mike Langford.
An aerial photograph showing Lake's Edge, an undeveloped 4ha site on the shore of Lake Wakatipu and beside Kawarau Village, comprising the Hilton Queenstown and the Kawarau Hotel at Kelvin Heights. Photo by Mike Langford.
One of Queenstown's biggest stalled projects at arguably the area's best spot is rumbling back into life.

Investor Michaela Meehan's Winton Partners NZ Ltd recently snapped up prime waterfront development land beside the Hilton Hotel complex at Kelvin Heights for an undisclosed sum after the receivers put it up for sale.

Winton is now selling some of the site's lakefront sections - for up to $1 million-plus in some cases - as part of an exclusive 33-lot residential subdivision called Lake's Edge.

The subdivision was released to the market at the weekend by Ray White Queenstown.

The sites range in size from 515sq m to 1047sq m, priced from $500,000, with titles expected to be issued next year.

Mrs Meehan, who recently shifted her family from Sydney to Queenstown, says: ''Our view is it's the best piece of land in Queenstown.''

Earlier ambitious plans for the 4ha site were shelved when Auckland developer Nigel McKenna's $300 million Kawarau Falls Station project fell over in 2009.

Financier Bank of Scotland International poured in millions to complete the Hilton complex, which was stage one of the development, but the McKenna company behind stages two and three of the project was placed in liquidation and receivership.

Plans for stages two and three included three consented, upmarket hotels, including an InterContinental with a 1000-capacity conference centre.

Receivers instructed an Auckland real estate agency to place the $15 million stage two and three site on the market a year ago.

Mrs Meehan, a former Danish Olympic sailor, and also behind the proposed Northlake subdivision in Wanaka, has not ruled out building some visitor accommodation in the future.

''We think the current highest and best use is to develop a prestige residential enclave.

''The market feedback's been good. We're sure there'll be strong interest and we'll price it sensibly to sell it off the plan.''

Ray White Queenstown salesman Cameron Reed said opportunities to own and build on sections like Lake's Edge ''simply don't exist''.

''It's an incredible piece of land.''

 - Philip Chandler