Future of Chittock companies in doubt

Stephen Chittock at work in St Clair in 2008. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Stephen Chittock at work in St Clair in 2008. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
The future of four companies associated with St Clair businessman Stephen Chittock and his wife Janet will be decided at a meeting next Monday after a voluntary administrator was appointed yesterday.

The companies are White Island Investments, White Island Properties, St Clair Village Hotels and Sunbay Enterprises.

Properties owned by Mr Chittock, with a combined value of $4.4 million, have been on the market and the Otago Daily Times was told yesterday that until the voluntary administration was announced, all but one of the properties was either under contract or under offer.

The properties are the seven-unit Esplanade Motels and Apartments complex, Swell Restaurant and three private residences.

The tender process, being run by Colliers International, opened on June 6 and late last month was extended until July 12. An announcement on the tender process was expected late this week.

Most interest had come from New Zealand investors. The ODT could not discover which property was not under offer or contract.

A joint first creditors meeting for all of the named companies will be held next Monday at the Presbyterian Church Hall in Caversham.

The administrator for all companies is Bruce Ullrich, of Christchurch.

Mr Ullrich could not confirm how much money was owed to creditors when contacted yesterday.

"We are currently putting together all the information and won't know until later in the week.

"The objective of the voluntary administration will be to assess the situation and to then try and achieve a positive outcome for the project and Dunedin."

The first creditors meeting will decide whether to appoint a creditors committee to each company and, if so, to appoint its members.

It will also decide whether to replace the administrator for each company.

Mr Chittock drove a resource consent change for the area several years ago which now allows "as of right" small commercial developments in the seaside suburb which hosts five separate licensed restaurants, a florist, design store, motels and a hotel.

In June, when announcing the sale of his properties, Mr Chittock said: "We've been out here for about 14 years and have achieved a lot in that time. Here's an opportunity for others to come in for what is a great piece of Dunedin real estate."

Mr Chittock and 50:50 co-developer Calder Stewart Property announced at the end of March they had parted company over the St Clair Beach Resort development. Calders bought Mr Chittock's stake for an undisclosed sum.


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