Positive signs for future, developers say

Hamish Dobbie
Hamish Dobbie
Despite difficult times, with building and construction reaching a plateau over the past 18 months, the outlook for development is looking up, and the industry is "looking to see a little bit of growth".

Lakes Environmental chief executive Hamish Dobbie said he was seeing a "small return to the commercial market" with "embryonic growth" and as confidence returns, "we will see more investment, particularly in the commercial sector".

That, combined with the residential market and particularly the new dwelling market remaining "quite strong", would help Queenstown with its economic recovery.

It has been seen already in the likes of the Millbrook West luxury residential development, in stage one of four, which will add to a total of 350 residential sites planned for the entire complex.

"We expect over the next 10 years to complete our residential development, and some improvements to the village centre," Millbrook property and development manager Ben O'Malley said.

"Effectively, we're going to complete the development."

With Queenstown Gateway now steering the Five Mile development, the days of "Hendo's Hole" are numbered - and later this year it may be gone.

Queenstown Gateway owner Tony Gapes is proposing a $125 million shopping and entertainment complex, with construction of part one - centred on a 4200sq m Countdown supermarket and 10 large-format stores - proposed to start later this year.

Another project intended to start this year is the $100 million Shotover Park big-box retail development, which is planned to include a Pak'n Save supermarket, Mitre 10 Mega Store and fuel station.

Proposed by Remarkables Park developers Alastair and John Porter, Shotover Park would be "three minutes' travel time" via the planned eastern access road to nearby Remarkables Park Town Centre.

Also in the planning stages is a $60 million luxury resort development at Jacks Point, the proposed Arrowtown South development for 215 homes among other things, which is before the Environment Court, and Bendemeer, a $12 million, 24-section subdivision near Queenstown, which is in receivership.

Work is still being carried out on the Quail Rise development, which aims to turn unused farmland into 168 residential lots.

Another project with the potential to change the face of Queenstown is the proposed $300 million, 750-house Shotover Country development near Lake Hayes Estate.

With commissioners considering the proposed plan change, the development could ease issues concerning affordable housing ahead of Queenstown's predicted population increase of about 10,000 over the next 15 years.

Counsel for the Ladies Mile Partnership, Warwick Goldsmith, said Queenstown's natural beauty, combined with its entrepreneurial energy, would result in inevitable visitor and residential growth and necessary development.

Once the debates over the future of the Frankton Flats and Arrowtown were resolved, the framework for development in the Wakatipu Basin would provide a solid foundation for growth over the next 10 to 20 years, Mr Goldsmith said.

"Existing commercial and residential areas will continue to develop as old stock is replaced with new stock. There will be a focus on quality urban design outcomes in the new development areas.

"The combination of redevelopment and new development will drive the necessary implementation of essential infrastructure, such as transport ... "

The upshot in general, he said, was "Queenstown will get bigger and better".


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