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$250m Jack’s Point kick-start

By Nina Jensen

Jack’s Point’s long-awaited village hub, expected to cost well over $250 million, will soon be under way.

It’s another shot in the arm for Queenstown’s booming economy.

Mountain Scene can reveal the $120 million first stage, bordering the Clubhouse and Restaurant and Lake Tewa, will include a 172-room waterfront hotel and 120 units including retirement living and staff housing.

There will also be 30 multi-level ‘Main Street’ buildings, either side of the Clubhouse road, featuring shops, offices, residential and visitor accommodation.

The village is spearheaded by original Jack’s Point developer John Darby’s company Darby Partners, in partnership with a New Zealand-based investment group.

Early this year his company Jack’s Point Village Developments bought back the Clubhouse and 6.5 hectare village zone from the Australian group developing the neighbouring Hanley Downs subdivision.

Darby tells the Scene a major driver of the 3.5ha first stage is the hotel, given visitor demand in particular for the Jack’s Point golf course, which is close to capacity.

“The demand for accommodation, for golf, let alone general visitors, is pretty high.”

Darby, who designed the championship course, adds: “It’s given us the confidence to now progress plans that have been in the making since 2005.”

The hotel, extending from the Clubhouse, will include 12 luxury boat houses over Lake Tewa, and will be configured “in a village form, not a large block”.

Darby says the other trigger for the village is housing growth at Jack’s Point and Hanley Downs.

Jack’s Point’s 712 sections have almost all sold out. More than 300 homes are already complete or under construction.

Along with up to 2165 residential lots planned for Hanley Downs, the Jack’s Point zone will be about three times the size of Arrowtown.

Darby says the village’s residential component will include affordable first-home housing, retirement living and worker accommodation – “meeting needs that aren’t being met within the local community”.

“We have the unique ability to build four storeys in parts of the village and therefore deliver some pretty affordable living options for the local market.”

Darby expects the ‘Main Street’ – about the same length as Arrowtown’s main street – to appeal to businesspeople who’d like to live and work from the same premises.

There’ll be an emphasis on public spaces around Lake Tewa. Darby originally master-planned the village with the late Ian Athfield, a prominent NZ architect.

He now has four architectural firms working on designs. Darby: “The underlying philosophy is to create the kind of quality environment and sense of identity and community that was characteristic of traditional communities.”

Darby intends filing the plans with the local council next week.

Work on infrastructure like roading and services will start in July, with building targeted to start October 1.

Photo Source: The Mountain Scene

The development will be led by local Mike Coburn, an original partner and director of Jack’s Point who also co-developed Queenstown’s Lake Hayes Estate subdivision.

Darby believes the timing is right to complete the vision he originally had for Jack’s Point but says the village couldn’t have gone ahead without the government building the new Kawarau Falls bridge, which is now under way.

Further down the track, he says the second stage of the village could accommodate a second hotel and another 100 or so residences.

“If you take the total entitlement of this village, the build-out would be well in excess of $250m.”

He invites local people and businesses to give feedback via the Clubhouse or Darby Partners’ website.

April 2016

Source: The Mountain Scene

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