A partly-built Auckland waterfront home once at the centre of litigation which stopped development work on the exclusive site facing Rangitoto is on the market for $8 million-plus.
The property on Takapuna's leafy, upmarket, quiet cul-de-saq Minnehaha Ave is being marketed as either a buy-and-finish or buy-and-bowl, along with plans for a new home.
Andrew Dorreen of Precision Real Estate in Milford is marketing 27 Minnehaha Ave as the "best of the best, Auckland's finest waterfront site", saying the big 1239sq m plot in the area's most exclusive street is surrounded by some of the most admired North Shore homes.
No mention is made of the dilapidated nature of the home, over-grown and unkempt section its with large sunken water-filled circular pit at the front, knee-high noxious weeds, floors and buildings open to the elements, fenced off, uninhabited for years, all on its exposed seafront site.
"I can't comment on the circumstances, other than the sale. The CV in 2014 was $5.4m. We are looking for offers in excess of $8m. It's been on the market only for a couple of weeks. There's been a significant amount of interest in it. We have had offers on it," Dorreen said.
In 2014, the home was at the centre of litigation when Quattro Trustees - owners of 25 and 29 Minnehaha Ave - took neighbours Erik and Diana Marjo of 27 Minnehaha Ave to the High Court at Auckland, disputing a redevelopment.
Quattro and other neighbours had given the Marjos consent to build but a permanent injunction was sought barring any further building increasing the new home's height above 9.8m
Justice Rebecca Ellis ruled no more work could be done on the top level, indicating a lot was at stake.
"The location and size of the plaintiff's properties mean that they are of considerable value (between $6 and $7m each). No doubt the defendants' property, once the new house is complete, will have a similar worth," she wrote.
Works cold be carried out at lower levels only. The Marjos had applied for a new resource consent involving a house that would be "slightly lower than the one presently being constructed." But even those second set of plans was outside the height restrictions, the judge noted.
Lawyer Simon Cogan, who acted for the Marjos in the case, said this week: "I have not been instructed on that matter since around September 2015 so I am afraid I cannot assist."
Melissa Marjo - who Companies Office records show is a director of Pacific Ink along with the couple - said the pair were overseas. "Erik and Diana are out of the country and can't be contacted. Erik and Diana no longer own the property," she said.
The agent refused to identify the vendors were but asked that the property be described as "a good opportunity for someone."
Property records show interests associated with Francis and Richard Schipper own neighbouring 25 Minnehaha Ave and Auckland Council this year granted them and Quattro Trustees resource consent to develop the rundown neighbouring place.
"The records associated with what happened are in the public domain," Richard Schipper said. "We decided [work] was going to destroy the value of our property. We're not property developers. We purchased the property over a year ago. Obviously resource consent takes an enormous amount of time."
Schipper said the new plans for the site would work well, indicated he was keen for it to be sold and said going to court had been "a pretty expensive thing to do."
Homes.co.nz lists 25 Minnehaha Ave as being worth $13m, the rundown 27 as being worth only $6.7m and 29 as being worth $14.5m.
The court decision revealed more about the dispute between the neighbours.
"The essence of the plaintiffs' claim is that Mr Marjo knew that (or was reckless as to whether) his proposed new house would infringe certain requirements of the District Plan and that his application for resource consent would be facilitated if each of his immediate neighbours gave their written approval. They say that Mr Marjo had separate discussions with his three immediate neighbours ... all say in their affidavits that Mr Marjo misrepresented the position with regard to the height of the new house," the judge wrote.
Erik Marjo disputed that and denied making the claims because he said he was unaware of the height of the old house at this time.
The council at the time said infringements would affect 23, 25, 29 Minnehaha Ave and a council reserve.
Dorreen's advertising said the buyer could finish the existing structure or demolish and build new plans by Ron Dijkmans with more 700sq m of floor area, five large bedrooms with four ensuites, eight-car garage and a lift, "separate 65sq m pool house with lounge and breath-taking views, a gymnasium, large media room, cellar and spacious office with cutting edge interiors. Resource consent has been granted so never before has there been an opportunity to secure a home at this level in this location."