Property magnate pays up

By John Maslin

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Property developer CJ Efstratiou has cleared his debts with the Wanganui District Council - all up a total of $354,296.

That includes rates arrears of $161,693 and $192,603 that was a loan arrangement Mr Efstratiou had with the council to buy the former council carpark in St Hill St, between Maria Place and Ridgway St.

The clean slate was tabled at the council's strategy and finance committee meeting this week.

Julian Harkness, the council's finance and corporate services manager, said the payment made good all rates arrears and mortgages.

Mr Efstratiou, one of the city's largest property owners, had owed the council more than $214,000 in overdue rates and penalties and had recently started paying for the carpark he bought in 2005.

In all, the English property developer owned 24 central-city properties with a combined land and built value of $22.5million.

The rates arrears related to 17 inner-city properties.

In January 2005, he took possession of a former St Hill St carpark, settling on a purchase price of $228,375.

Council finance was provided by way of a 10-year loan secured by a mortgage, with repayments due to start in March 2007.

Since then, the council had given Mr Efstratiou two time extensions as well as shortening the term of the loan from 10 years to eight years. He began repayments in June this year.

Final payment on the remaining $192,000 was not due until May 2020.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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