Take 3 for Queenstown Hill block

This outlined block on Queenstown Hill is on the market for the third time; boundary lines...
This outlined block on Queenstown Hill is on the market for the third time; boundary lines indicative only. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
When, more than 50 years ago, the then-Queenstown borough council couldn’t fund vital infrastructure — sound familiar? — mayor Warren Cooper halted permits for major building projects.

To fund that infrastructure, he persuaded then Finance Minister Rob Muldoon to let his council take over 40.47 hectares of Queenstown Hill ‘commonage’ land to sell off for residential development.

That was vested in council under the Queenstown Reserves Vesting & Empowering Act 1971.

Property company Colliers tomorrow launches to market the last 9.7ha of that ‘Commonage’ land at the top of Queenstown Hill, off Vancouver Dr.

The balance, largely developed between 1975 and 2002, was carved up into sections hosting some of Queenstown’s dearest and most desirable homes.

The last portion to sell ended up as an upmarket, gated community, The Peak, which was developed by an Australian party — the last section, 1858 square metres, sold last year for $4.5million.

Colliers is attempting to sell the final block after two earlier campaigns by other agencies, in 2017/18 and 2021, didn’t result in a bid that satisfied council.

Local Colliers broker Alastair Wood, who’s listing agent alongside colleague Barry Robertson and Auckland-based colleagues Josh Coburn and Blair Peterken, expects interest will come from overseas — Australia and possibly Singapore and Hong Kong — as well as within New Zealand, due to the block’s spectacular views and proximity to downtown.

"It’s one of the last decent blocks of residential development land left on Queenstown Hill," he says.

Under its medium-density zoning, there could be one dwelling per 250sqm, though under a proposed variation there could be up to three units per 450sqm.

There are multiple development options, Wood says, depending on where the eventual owners see the market.

"Someone might take the view the Australians did with the last block and do a lower-scale, larger-section development at a higher end.

"Or, at the other end, you could have an intensive apartment-townhouse, hotel development mixed-use scenario."

The completed number of lots could therefore range anywhere between 70 and 250.

It’s thought the block will fetch well over $20m.

International expressions of interest close March 14.