Singapore firm buying prime land

A listed Singapore company with North Island land holdings is buying a prime piece of Queenstown land, near the airport, for $19.2million.

In an announcement to the Singapore Stock Exchange late last week, Global Yellow Pages Ltd said a subsidiary company had entered into a conditional agreement to buy 3.84ha of land in Frankton, "at Eastern Access Rd''.

"The company intends to develop the land into residential properties for sale as there has been a significant increase in demand for property in Queenstown due to both an increase in tourist numbers and an increase in workers seeking accommodation, which is supportive of residential development.''

The vendor company is Queenstown Central Ltd, which is controlled by Auckland trusts lawyer Lewis Grant.

Mr Grant could not be reached for comment.

About 23ha of land owned by Queenstown Central in Frankton has been earmarked for a retail and commercial development, including about 600 resident units.

One of Global Yellow Pages' sale conditions is for the parties to agree on construction costings for the completion of "certain roads'' next to or near the land.

The company also said it must obtain all approvals necessary - including, presumably, Overseas Investment Office sign-off - and it wanted the vendor company to get "full and final approval of the plan of the proposed subdivision''.

In 2013, Queenstown Central Ltd was accused of holding up construction of the so-called eastern access road, which will link traffic from the Shotover River end of Frankton, past the eastern end of Queenstown Airport's main runway to Remarkables Park.

The road has still not been built.

A Queenstown Lakes District Council report written late last month said the road faced further delays because of problems with land designations and New Zealand Transport Agency approval.

Global Yellow Pages' land purchase, which is due to be settled in October, is a continuation of a diversification into property by a company which, as the name suggests, started by publishing telephone directories.

A year ago it completed a $96million acquisition of Pakuranga Plaza shopping mall in Auckland.

The previous year, it bought the intellectual property rights for the Wendy's Supa Sundaes brand, which has stores across Australia and New Zealand.

Queenstown Central appealed an Environment Court decision allowing a Pak'n Save supermarket and Mitre 10 Mega to be built in Frankton.

But its view there was an error of law was rejected by the High Court in July 2013.

The Mitre 10 Mega is now operating and the $30million Pak'n Save is expected to be completed late this year.

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