Fletcher Building has confirmed it is receiving both "solicited and unsolicited" bids for its Three Kings quarry development, in response to rumours that it may be looking to sell the Auckland site for $150 million.
Harry Doig, chair of the Puketapapa Local Board, which encompasses the Three Kings suburb of Auckland, confirmed to BusinessDesk that he had heard the same rumour, including the same price.
Fletcher would not discuss valuation but a spokesperson said: "We continue to receive solicited and unsolicited offers for a number of our sites, including Three Kings, and deal with these on the basis that, as a land developer as well as a residential building company, we will always consider the best return for our shareholders."
"We have established an agreed master-plan for the precinct, including two plan changes, and a land exchange, and are continuing to fill the quarry in accordance with these plans," the company says.
Doig says there would be only a few buyers of the site on which Fletcher has planned to spend about $1.2 billion on building between 1,200 and 1,500 homes over a 10-year period.
"My understanding is rather than put it on the market, they've just selectively approached a few organisations and said would they be interested in it," he said.
There was "no truth" to a rumour that Fletcher was likely to sell to Housing New Zealand," Fletcher said.
Fletcher reached a compromise with residents over the development in mid-2017 after a prolonged controversy.
Speaking before Christmas, Steve Evans, chief executive of the Fletcher Residential division, said the first stage of 40 homes at the eastern part of the site had already been completed, sold and occupied and that another 60 homes, a mix of 17 terrace houses and one to three bedroom apartments, would be completed this month and that 30 had already been pre-sold.
Evans said filling in the quarry to the level required by the Environment Court would take another two or three years before most of the site would be ready to build on.
Doig notes Fletcher sold another quarry site in Mt Wellington – Fletcher's website shows Fletcher sold the 110 hectare Lunn Avenue quarry site in Mt Wellington, jointly owned with the former Brierley Investments, in 2001 for $38 million.
Fletcher acquired the Three Kings quarry when it was still part of the Fletcher Challenge group back in 1988 through the $444 million Winstone purchase and continued operating it as a quarry until it decided on the housing development.