Wine estate development plans confirmed

Wooing Tree owners Steve and Thea Farquharson at the vineyard's cellar door. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Wooing Tree owners Steve and Thea Farquharson at the vineyard's cellar door. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A new $200million boutique vineyard estate in Cromwell is set to woo potential buyers.

The local owners and North Island developers of the Wooing Tree wine estate have confirmed plans to redevelop the 25ha Cromwell site into a residential, retail and commercial estate.

Units for the first residential stage could be available for presale as early as this December, with ground being broken from April 2020, depending on demand.

Wooing Tree Vineyard's equity development partner is Crawshaw Properties, which is registered in Palmerston North.

Veros Property, a Tauranga property company with a portfolio in the Bay of Plenty and Auckland, has been appointed as the development manager.

Veros development manager Sean Haynes said the development would be completed across several stages.

Between 40 and 55 residential lots would come on stream in its initial stage, subject to final section and house types.

Steve and Thea Farquharson, who have owned Wooing Tree since 2002, announced they were seeking a joint venture partner for the vineyard in April, following planning approval.

Mr Farquharson said the wine business itself would not be affected by the development, and would continue to operate from the site's planned retail zone.

The well-known wooing tree would remain a feature of the development, he said.

"That was not negotiable.

"Wooing Tree Vineyard Estate has been carefully designed to support the local wine and tourism industry, as well as offering a quality housing precinct as this region experiences unprecedented growth," Mr Farquharson said.

Local Harcourts branch manager Peter Bennett said the development had already generated a buzz in the area.

"It's ideally situated near Cromwell on the state highway [SH6], so that's a major plus.

"There is also likely to be a lot of appeal on the strength of its mix of residential, retail and commercial spaces.

"At an average residential price of about $600,000, it's appealing both to young families and retirees, but we're also seeing good inquiry from commercial and rural interests, who see Cromwell as a critical hub for the region."

Mr Haynes said it was important to retain the vineyard's identity.

"While some vines will be removed progressively as the residential stages are developed, we will retain the vines as a buffer zone around the site"

Veros would be opening an office in Cromwell later this year and would use local builders and suppliers throughout the project.

Mr Haynes said while planning and concepts were not finalised, stage 2 would include the retail and hospitality precinct, as well as further residential.

Stage 2 would be subject to finalising the design, function and cost of the State Highway 6 intersection in consultation with the NZ Transport Agency and Central Otago District Council, he said

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