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Town centre expansion set to engulf historic home

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Queenstown’s continuing residential and commercial urban sprawl looks set to engulf another victim - with a substantial landholding on the edge of the town centre targeted for redevelopment.

The 2580 square metre Stanley Street section currently contains a three-bedroom dwelling - an historic bungalow dating back to the early 1900s. The 180 square metre dwelling, while more than a century old, is not however a heritage listed building.

The dwelling and land are zoned A under the Queenstown Lakes District Council plan, and have been placed on the market for sale through a tender process closing on May 14.

Marketing collateral for the house and land describes the property as: "Standing like a sentry on the gateway to progress." Bayleys Queenstown salesperson Alan Sutton who is managing the marketing process, said there were a multitude of development options for the site under its high density classification.

However, he said the land value of the site virtually dictated the demise of the existing dwelling - which had been rented out to the same long-term tenant for more than a decade until the tenant moved out last year.

"While the home could be substantially refurbished to its former glory in expansive park-like gardens, the real value of this location is now in the land under its new zoning designation," Mr Sutton said.

"With the city centre moving ever-concentrically outward, what was once simple residential land has now become valuable for what it can sustain - particularly in the development of medium to high density housing to accommodate the town’s growing population.

"In addition to its proximity to the town centre, the site also benefits from a dual 33 metre street frontage - with access from both Stanley and Melbourne streets.

"This considerably enhances the potential residential intensification development options as access for residents’ parking could be from either side of the property."

Mr Sutton said that on one side, the property was bordered by the 220-room Millennium Hotel, while across the road on the Melbourne Street side there were several motels and terraced residential blocks which had effectively already set the design framework for the neighbourhood.

"A new multi-storey residential complex certainly wouldn’t look out of place on the site," Mr Sutton said. "And within that, subject to council consents, could be the likes of up to 30 new residential dwellings.

"The land sits within the council’s ring-fenced ‘intensification’ zone in the development masterplan. That zone runs in a belt around Lake Wakatipu from Sunshine Bay to Drift Bay.

"The higher value land within this belt is obviously the property closest to the city centre - because there simply aren’t that many large sites like this available for immediate development intensification,’ Mr Sutton said.

"Most of the land within walking distance to the town centre is already built on, and its development potential - particularly for the construction of medium to high density housing - is severely constrained by both the size available, and the acquisition costs."

"While it is somewhat unfortunate that the old home there will most likely disappear, it’s a sacrifice of one for the benefit of many."

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