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Sunnyside Hospital for sale after Ngai Tahu disinterest

By Chris Hutching

Friday 14th April 2000

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A new market level for Christchurch residential sections is being tested with the tender of 30ha of Crown land at the former Sunnyside Hospital after Maori tribe Ngai Tahu declined to buy it at a mediated price.

Under the terms of Ngai Tahu's recent settlement, any surplus Crown land must first be offered to the tribe.

When the parties disagree about the value and conditions relating to a property, they settle the dispute by mediation.

Ngai Tahu may then accept the price and conditions or allow the property to be tested in the market. Successful tenderers must either meet the price and conditions or may bid higher against competition. If the public sale is unsuccessful the property must be offered to Ngai Tahu a second time.

In the case of the Sunnyside land, a mediated valuation struck for 12.6ha in Annex Rd was $2.95 million while a 17ha main block was valued at $3.55 million. There was also a condition to build a road at an estimated cost of around $650,000.

The due diligence documents projected section sales at around $80,000 for sections between 750-1000sq m. The tenders will reveal if market players think the prices are achievable with a margin. Ngai Tahu apparently did not, and it has had plenty of experience of the market at its Wigram residential subdivision.

Prices for similar serviced sections in other parts of Christchurch are reported to have fallen from levels of around $95,000 - $100,000.

David Wallace at CB Richard Ellis is carrying out the tender for Healthlink South and he said there were few large tracts of land available so close to the city centre. In addition to housing, the land would be suitable for schools and retirement villages. It is zoned for residential-type development.

The Sunnyside land potentially significantly increases the supply of subdividable land in Christchurch even given a time lag in coming to market.

Construction work for a subdivision comprising several hundred sections is under way on a former Apple Fields block at Styx in anticipation of spring sales.

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