Another chunk of Wai­heke sold for $35m

Weekend Herald - - News -

A chunk of a Wai­heke Is­land par­adise has sold for close to $35 mil­lion — with ap­proval given to di­vide the sprawl­ing farm into 25 lifestyle blocks.

Known as Thomp­sons Point, the 38ha for­mer cat­tle farm near Palm Beach has been signed off for de­vel­op­ment by Auck­land Coun­cil — with four new roads and 25 sec­tions to be cre­ated, fea­tur­ing stun­ning views of the Hau­raki Gulf.

The prop­erty was sold by Matthew Smith and mar­keted by Paul Bar­nao of Ray White. The sale went through on May 3 for $32m plus GST.

The rolling north-fac­ing land was owned by cat­tle farm­ers Colin and Jil­lian Devine who bought it for $250,000 in the 1980s.

The fam­ily have kept 3km along the coast with plans to build five houses for their five daugh­ters.

“It’s only part of our farm that has sold — only 36ha and we have 81ha left,” Colin Devine said this week.

“I have five daugh­ters, 14 grand­chil­dren and a great-grand­child and we in­tend to keep the rest of the land for­ever.”

The sale and con­sent process took 16 years, cov­er­ing ob­jec­tions from lo­cals and an En­vi­ron­ment Court hear­ing.

Devine said the process with coun­cil started in 2002.

Con­sent was given by the En­vi­ron­ment Court in 2013 and a sale to Wawata Es­tate was fi­nalised this month.

Prop­erty records show Wawata Es­tate’s direc­tor is Christo­pher James Ja­cobs.

He was the ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Ma­rine Hold­ings Ltd, which owned Fullers Bay of Is­lands. That com­pany sold in 2004 for $22m. Wawata Es­tate project man­ager Greg Rob­bins said it would be a low-den­sity ru­ral de­vel­op­ment.

“With the house sites oc­cu­py­ing just 15 per cent of the to­tal land area, the fin­ished es­tate will re­sem­ble a 94-acre park dot­ted with dis­creet, thought­fully placed homes,” he said.

He said there would be im­prove­ment to the land, now cov­ered in gorse and to­bacco weed.

Wawata Es­tate had worked with lo­cal iwi and Her­itage New Zealand and ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites had been iden­ti­fied and would be pro­tected. The con­sent had 130 con­di­tions at­tached that pro­tected ex­ist­ing neigh­bours’ views, public walk­ways, many large na­tive trees and wet­lands.

“The new own­ers are only too happy to com­ply with ev­ery one these con­di­tions and, in fact, will go fur­ther,” Rob­bins said.

He said the de­vel­op­ment would be of high qual­ity and have im­proved public walk­ing tracks and new ac­cess to Sea View Rd. But some lo­cals are still up­set the chunk of ru­ral land has been re­zoned.

Lo­cal Rosie Wal­ford wrote to Auck­land Coun­cil ask­ing for the re­zon­ing to be pub­licly no­ti­fied but “hadn’t heard back”.

She said there was great sad­ness in the com­mu­nity that the rolling hills and bird cor­ri­dor were go­ing to “be­come part of sub­ur­bia” with pri­vate roads and houses.

“It is a very spe­cial place with in­cred­i­ble birdlife and it is wor­ry­ing that this re­zon­ing can hap­pen with­out no­ti­fi­ca­tion,” she said.

“There is some­thing very awry when land can be re­zoned like this.”

Matthew Smith of Ray White said the block of land was the last of its kind for sale and that the fi­nal de­vel­op­ment would be an as­set to the is­land.

“It is go­ing to be re­ally nicely done with beau­ti­ful homes, roads and light­ing,” Smith said.

“They will be ar­chi­tec­tural de­signs that will be a real as­set.”

The sale is the sec­ond mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar trans­ac­tion in the past six months on the is­land. Last week the Week­end Her­ald re­ported a $20m man­sion in Church Bay had sold to a for­eign buyer, with the sale sub­ject to ap­proval from the Over­seas In­vest­ment Of­fice. Plan­ning for Wawata Es­tate will con­tinue with clear­ing, reveg­e­ta­tion and civil works

from Oc­to­ber.

Her­ald graphic The 25 sec­tions to be cre­ated at Thomp­sons Point will have stun­ning views of the Hau­raki Gulf.

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