Vacant Parnell section sells for nearly $10m

By Lane Nichols

A vacant cliff-top section in Parnell where a large house was demolished and pristine ready lawn laid to entice buyers has just sold for nearly $10 million.

The sale price is the nation's fifth highest paid for a vacant section in the last three years, with additional building costs on the site likely to set the new owners back millions of dollars more.

The sprawling 2352sq m property at 20 Crescent Rd boasts panoramic views of Rangitoto Island and the Waitemata Harbour, and is just around the corner from the private residence of Prime Minister John Key.

Pitched as a "blank canvas" for the super rich to build their dream home, it was originally marketed in 2013 by luxury realty firm Graham Wall Real Estate before being relisted last year but sold through Ray White Remuera agent Steen Nielsen.

The property sits in one of the country's most exclusive post codes and is perched above picturesque Hobson Bay, offering views towards Coromandel Peninsula and Great Barrier Island.

QV records show the section was previously owned by Stuart Callender and Kerry and Maurice Prendergast, who are linked to the Pumpkin Patch empire.

It changed hands on May 10 this year for $9.25 million, meaning the new owners forked out nearly $4000 per square metre of dirt - much of it steep cliff face covered with vegetation.

The price tag is the fifth highest paid for a vacant section in the last three years, Real Estate Institute data shows. Four of those sections were in Auckland while the other was in Central Otago.

The new owners are listed as Dean Lawson, Grant Graham and Grant and Maria Ryder.
Graham is a partner at KordaMentha, and he and the Ryders are shareholders or directors of Mondiale Freight Services Ltd, according to Companies Office documents.

The new owners could not be reached for comment and Nielsen said the buyers had requested privacy.

When the Crescent Rd property was first listed for sale, Graham Wall - who sold the $39m mansion on Paritai Dr linked to Mark Hotchin - told the Herald the then owners had demolished the original 1920s house and laid ready lawn to make way for a unique development opportunity.

He believed at the time it was the only vacant clifftop property in Parnell, labelling it "without doubt the best building site left in Auckland".

In 2013, the property came with two development schemes by Lawrence Sumich architects, construction of which could easily set someone back $8 million, Wall said.

"So you could end up with a house and section worth $18 million by the time you've finished."

The property has a 2011 capital valuation of $8.6 million.

Auckland's median house selling price was $825,000 last month, up 7 per cent year-on-year.

- NZ Herald

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