Prime $ 15m block for sale af­ter di­vorce bat­tle

Weekend Herald - - NEWS - Co­ra­zon Miller

A $ 15 mil­lion prop­erty in St He­liers is on the mar­ket as a long- run­ning le­gal dis­pute over its sale draws to a close.

The 8945sq m Waimarie St block, made up of nine sections, has been listed for sale un­der in­struc­tions by KPMG liq­uida­tors.

The prop­er­ties, which have a com­bined rat­ing val­u­a­tion of $ 15.64m, have been at the cen­tre of sev­eral le­gal bat­tles over four years.

The dis­putes be­gan af­ter for­mer own­ers Sarah Sparks and Greg Ol­liver sep­a­rated in 2012. They di­vorced in 2014.

Ol­liver bought the Waimarie prop­er­ties in 2007 with plans of de­vel­op­ing lux­ury apart­ments. Apart from some ini­tial ground ex­ca­va­tions, this vi­sion was never ful­filled.

In 2009 the prop­erty devel­oper’s large debt saw him nar­rowly dodge in­sol­vency. Dur­ing this time he sold the prop­erty to the cur­rent own­ers CIT Hold­ings, of which he is the sole di­rec­tor.

In March 2016 the com­pany was put into liq­ui­da­tion af­ter the In­land Rev­enue Depart­ment made a suc­cess­ful claim in the High Court at Auck­land over un­paid taxes.

A KPMG liq­uida­tors’ re­port in 2016 showed CIT Hold­ings owed the IRD $ 383,630.

A June 2017 re­ceivers’ re­port un­der­taken by In­sol­vency Man­age­ment showed the com­pany owed the Bank of New Zealand $ 13,523,622.07 — more than dou­ble the ini­tial 2009 mort­gage of $ 6.75m.

BNZ had ear­lier sought to sell the prop­erty as a mort­gagee sale to get what it was owed.

Sparks fought this in the courts as she wanted the prop­er­ties sold at mar­ket value.

The lat­est court judg­ment granted the liq­uida­tors the sale rights. The prop­er­ties have been put up for sale through an in­ter­na­tional ten­der process. Ten­ders close on Novem­ber 8. Sparks, who is rent­ing a house in Ti­ti­rangi, was re­lieved the court bat­tles ap­peared to fi­nally be over. “I have been in the courts since 2012, it hasn’t been easy,” she said. “It’s been chal­leng­ing, but I haven’t been fac­ing a health cri­sis, so we have got to put it in per­spec­tive.” Once the prop­erty was sold her un­der­stand­ing was the debts would be paid off and the dis­tri­bu­tion of any re­main­ing as­sets would be de­ter­mined by the liq­uida­tors. De­spite the fall­out over the prop­er­ties Sparks said there were still good mem­o­ries from their time there as a fam­ily. She re­called Easter egg hunts and many “spe­cial whanau mo­ments” on the St He­liers’ prop­er­ties, which she de­scribed as “magic”.

Mike Adams, from the real es­tate firm Bay­leys, said it was most likely res­i­den­tial prop­erty de­vel­op­ers would sub­mit ten­ders for the uni­fied block.

“Very rarely does a land­hold­ing of this size in such a com­mand­ing and prom­i­nent po­si­tion come on to the mar­ket for sale.”

Adams said it was dif­fi­cult to put a price on what the prop­er­ties com­bined could reach, due to the sheer size and scale, com­bined with the res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment po­ten­tials.

The land is in a zoned res­i­den­tial and mixed hous­ing sub­ur­ban area which al­lows for the build­ing of one or two- storey stand­alone homes in var­i­ous den­si­ties, de­pen­dent on the sec­tion sizes.

Ol­liver did not re­ply to mes­sages from the Week­end Her­ald.

The nine sections — out­lined in red — in Waimairie St are be­ing sold by liq­uida­tors, and used to be owned by Greg Ol­liver and his ex- wife Sarah Sparks.

Sarah Sparks is re­lieved the court bat­tles ap­pear to be over.

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