Housing complex takes off

By Oscar Rodwell

Approval’s been given for Queenstown’s first major affordable and worker housing complex.

In a resort desperately short of reasonably-priced locals’ housing, developer New Ground Capital (NGC) has received resource consent to accommodate about 600 people on the Frankton Flats.

Site works for Remarkables Park Apartments, below Remarkables Park Town Centre, are due to begin in March.

“The delivery of truly affordable housing for families and staff is incredibly hard to achieve within the district, so we are thrilled to be underway,” NGC boss Roy Thompson says.

His company, which has now completed purchasing the one-hectare site, will build 227 one, two and three-bedroom units across three buildings.

The four- to six-level buildings – with more than 17,000 square metres of floor space – will have shared lounge areas, food and beverage spaces, and extensive basement and outdoor car-parking.

All units will have kitchenettes.

Two of the buildings, housing about 145 apartments, will be sold down. The third, with 82 apartments, will be leased to employers for staff housing.

Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust (QLCHT) has signed a conditional contract to buy 50 units in one of the former buildings.

Thompson expects construction of the staff housing building and the one QLCHT is interested in to start next August. Completion is due by October 2019.

After that, the third building will be constructed.

Thompson says there’s been good demand both for the rental accommodation and the units that will be sold off.

Prices range from $449,000 for 44sqm, one-bedroom units, while one-bedders will be rented from $350 a week.

He confirms NGC is “deep in negotiations” with three building contractors.

‘There’s going to be a high prefabricated component so it’s more of an assembly process on-site,” he adds.

NGC originally proposed a 143-unit worker housing complex in central Queenstown’s Gorge Road. Despite gaining a resource consent, it pulled the pin on the $30 million project because it couldn’t make the figures stack up. Thompson, however, says “a lot of the initial work we did on Gorge Rd has fed into this new one”.

Meanwhile, QLCHT executive officer Julie Scott says it’s “excited at the opportunity to potentially purchase 50 units and help 50 more households into homes”.

It’s a nice, sunny location, she notes.

“It’s so central to infrastructure – lots of people are working out that way now.”

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