Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Housing estate developer in receivership

Company says big affordable homes project not in doubt as finance firm moves to recover $2m

Stage one of the intensive housing Springpark estate of 420 dwellings in Mt Wellington has already been sold.
Stage one of the intensive housing Springpark estate of 420 dwellings in Mt Wellington has already been sold.

A company developing one of New Zealand's biggest, most intensive affordable housing estates has been put in receivership. More than 420 apartments and townhouses are planned for the Springpark estate on a 10.5ha site in Auckland's Mt Wellington and the first stage of the development is expected to be completed next year.

Springpark is seen as an affordable homes project, with townhouses in stage one priced from $399,000 to $554,000. Most of stage one has already sold.

One of the companies developing Springpark, Panama Road Developments, was put in receivership this week by Crown Finance, said to be owed $2 million. But Panama Road Developments director Tony Gapes said last night the receivership didn't put the project in doubt.

"We began this project with a joint venture partner Crown Finance, who are a finance company. For various reasons we decided not to proceed with Crown but mainly because they tried to change the terms of the [joint venture] on us which was hugely detrimental to us ... Crown are owed around $2 million and I imagine they have put [the company] into receivership, which they are entitled to do as a secured creditor, to put us under pressure to get them repaid as soon as possible," Mr Gapes said.

Resource consent had been obtained and a contract with a "major residential house builder" was almost finalised. It was agreed with the site's current owner, Zealandia Horticulture, that the land would be split into three parts so the business on it could continue to operate and progressively move off.

Mr Gapes said they were waiting for the three separate titles to be issued so they could settle the purchase for stage one and begin construction. Funds to buy the land and develop stage one were being finalised with a major bank. He expected the titles to be issued today and the land to be settled next Friday, after which Crown would be repaid and the development proceed.

- NZ Herald

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