The largest and most significant development land sale in Hawke’s Bay in decades has been agreed – with a consortium of âheavy hitsâ Kiwi real estate development families ready to take on the project.
Some 207 hectares of grazing farmland in the Mission Hills area, on the western urban edge of Napier, has been purchased – with its new owners already underway with their planning work to build a mix of residential homes and residences from upscale lifestyle, served by a small retail center, and an environmental park and reserve connecting the site to a community walking and biking network.
A rezoning of the site by Napier City Council in 2018 allows for the development of more than 590 sections in a multitude of sizes and configurations, with those located on the ridges of the hills enjoying spectacular views of the city and Hawke’s Bay.
The site – which sits right next to the historic Mission Estate Winery and accessible via the Puketiritiri road – has served Napier’s urban growth for many decades. It offers stunning views of Hawke’s Bay, from Ruapehu in the west to south of Mount Erin, including the iconic Cape Kidnappers and Te Mata Peak in the south.
The farmland is being sold by Western Hill Holdings Limited, a company formed to manage the development of the block after several decades of work by Marist Holdings (Greenmeadows) Limited to secure rezoning and development potential.
The Acquirer is a consortium of highly experienced North Island urban real estate developers comprised of Hawke’s Bay Wallace Development Company and the Gillespie Family Interests, Tauranga-based Carrus Group and Higgins Family Holdings Limited based in Palmerston North.
The deal was negotiated by the sellers of Bayleys Hawke’s Bay, Kerry Geange and Rollo Vavasour. A confidentiality agreement signed by the seller and the buyers means that the selling price or specific details cannot be disclosed. The land is zoned Mission Special Character in the Napier City Council plan.
A preliminary indicative plan for the local shows the development of approximately 550 new homes in a subdivision development, 60 hectares set aside for larger sections of lifestyle blocks and houses, and 2,500 square meters allocated for the construction of ‘a neighborhood shopping complex likely to contain a small suburban supermarket, upscale style cafe, and potentially a medical center.
Bayleys Hawke’s Bay Director and Senior Commercial Kerry Geange said the scale of Mission Hills’ entirely new development block, along with the premium views on offer, was one of the biggest sales on Hawke’s Bay during a significant number of years – since the block-built lifestyle developments in the hills of northern Havelock and the Esk Valley north of Napier in the early 2000s.
He said the sale of significant land would meet a large forecast demand for residential population growth in the Hawke’s Bay area.
âNapier’s metropolitan urban boundaries have been expanding slowly but steadily outward for decades, often street by street in ad hoc fashion. However, as a fully planned residential development, Western Hills will bring a whole new dynamic to this much needed urban growth, âhe said.
âIt will be the evolution of a whole new suburb with its own character and style – characterized by Hobsonville Point, Millwater or Stonefields in Auckland and now seen elsewhere in New Zealand provincial in areas such as Queenstown, Wanaka, Tauranga and Taupo as the towns’ populations continue to grow.
âMaster town planning allows for the design and design of the most efficient land use options, in conjunction with thinking about a ‘big picture’ involving the provision of infrastructure services to support the growth of suburbs to a considerable scale.
âIt will be exciting to see Mission Hills emerge in this direction over the next eight years. It will undoubtedly be one of the most anticipated and strategically important residential developments for growth in the lower part of the North Island.
“Demand is expected to be high for the Mission Hills sections when they hit the market – as the suburb will only be a few miles from downtown Napier or a five-minute drive from the airport, while still offering an exceptional living environment with a semi-rural backdrop.
“The exciting part is this consortium of real estate developers – some of the most experienced in the country who are coming together to create something really special for the future of Napier and Hawke’s Bay.”
Mr Geange said the proposed transaction negotiations for Mission Hills’ 207 hectares had lasted almost two years and involved a number of parties with a very wide geographic spread.
The sale is expected to be settled within the next 12 months, and Mr Geange said it would allow new owners to begin the next step in the site’s urban design process. Initial landscaping and infrastructure earthworks to support the installation of utilities would begin shortly after the official sale closes.
Jonathan Wallace, a member of the buyer’s consortium, Hawke’s Bay-based Wallace Development Company, expected the first residential properties in Mission Hills to go on sale as early as June of next year, with construction set to begin in the spring of 2023.
âThe foundation of our long-term vision for this site and this opportunity is the drive for quality and carefully thought-out development – encompassing streetscape, landscaping, recreation areas and visual appealâ, Mr. Wallace said.
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