Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Property developer says he'll find cash

Tony Gapes, with Janine Greenwood, left, and Sally Ridge, says finance will be 'locked in'. Photo / APN
Tony Gapes, with Janine Greenwood, left, and Sally Ridge, says finance will be 'locked in'. Photo / APN

Property developer Tony Gapes will be back in control of one of New Zealand's most intensive affordable housing projects if he settles a debt within the next 20 working days, say receivers.

Some 420 apartments and townhouses are planned for the Springpark estate on a 10.5ha site in Auckland's Mt Wellington. The first stage 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 have already sold.

One of the companies developing Springpark, Panama Road Developments, was put into receivership earlier this month by Crown Finance, said to be owed $2 million.

Panama Road Developments is directed by Auckland-based Gapes.

The company's receivers Steve Tietjens and Kevin Gillespie said all pre-purchase deposits paid for homes in stage one of the development were secure in a trust account.

Tietjens and Gillespie confirmed they had settled the purchase of land for stage one of the development.

"The receivers have worked to secure funding for the land purchase since their appointment on April 30, 2014. If funding had not been found by the agreed date (Monday May 12), the vendor could have terminated the sale agreement and the site for the development would have been lost. The receivers have engaged Bayleys Real Estate to manage a tender process to find a developer to complete the Springpark Development," Tietjens and Gillespie said in a statement.

Asked how Gapes fitted into the development now, Tietjens said:

"Mr Gapes has rights to retire the receivers by settling the monies owed to the secured creditor within 20 working days from the date on which PLA [Property Law Act] notices were issued, which was on May 21, 2014. If he does this then he will be back in control of the development."

Gapes said yesterday he would have finance "locked in" well before the end of the 20 working days.

"It is a very good project with good margins and we have had a number of parties who have approached us to provide finance and we are working through these at the moment," Gapes said.

- NZ Herald

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