Queenstown Lakes District Council is marketing for sale the last 9.5 hectares of commonage land on Queenstown Hill at Vancouver Drive, which is being promoted as an ideal site for a hotel or other tourism accommodation.
"It would also be suitable for a significant residential development," says Hamish Stallworthy of JLL Christchurch who, with Nick Horton of Luxury Real Estate, is marketing the property for sale by international tender closing on Thursday, May 3.
"This afforested site is a short walk from the township, Queenstown Gardens and Lake Wakatipu; and a 10-minute drive from Queenstown Airport," Stallworthy says.
He explains that the 1971 Queenstown Reserves Vesting and Empowering Act saw an original 40.47ha of land designated as Queenstown commonage land under the terms of a government agreement with the local council.
"Last year the council decided to sell the last remaining piece of this commonage land on Vancouver Drive," says Stallworthy.
He says a number of prospective subdivision options have been explored and a zoning decision is due to be released in late April that will confirm the density of any development on the site.
"The availability of the commonage land for hotel or residential development in the future could add some much-needed capacity to a market which is severely constrained by its geographic features.
"This is a spectacular site on Queenstown Hill with panoramic lake and alpine views. These factors alone make it an exceptional offering for developers, investors or hotel operators. We appreciate this is an important parcel of land and its eventual use will become the backdrop for Queenstown in future."
Stallworthy says JLL and Luxury Real Estate are seeking to ensure the council maximises the sale price of the land for local ratepayers, with funds from the sale being used to finance much needed infrastructure in the region.
"The attractiveness of Queenstown is reflected in the price of housing and the volume of visiting tourists with the council having to keep pace with this growth."
According to REINZ, median house prices in Queenstown hit $810,000 in the year to December 2017.
Tom Barclay, JLL's head of research, says passengers passed the 2 million mark for the first time last year at Queenstown Airport.
"December was a particularly hectic month with over 200,000 passengers moving through the airport with around 26 per cent of these being international visitors. What's more, Queenstown Airport expects annual passenger numbers to grow to 3.2 million by 2025 which will put further pressure on physical infrastructure at the airport, within the township, on the roading networks; and also on the hotel and residential markets".
Barclay says Queenstown is now a year-round 'adventure tourism' destination offering a diversity of activities that complement its scenic beauty.
"Queenstown is also close to the rapidly growing Wanaka township and the 'bucket list staple of Milford Sound'; with many tourists combining visits to all three locations," Barclay says.