a large apartment complex ! How big and how tall we are yet to find out , but at least Plans are being drawn up ! :cheers:
Building blocks for the little guy
23 April 2006
A new venture will give investors with only small amounts of cash a slice of the property development action. By Greg Ninness.
St Laurence Group has started an investment company which will enable investors with small sums of cash to get involved in property developments.
Called the St Laurence Property Development Fund Ltd, it will offer staple investments in lots of $5000.
For every $5000 invested, investors will receive 500 shares at $1 each in the company and a $4500 secured, interest-bearing bond. The bond is projected to pay annual interest of 15% for an initial term of five years, giving an overall return of 13.5% for each $5000 parcel.
The company does not expect to pay dividends on the shares, but investors may receive a capital gain on them at the end of the term, when all the assets will be sold and the company wound up.
The company will invest in a range of property developments as a funder and equity partner, most likely taking a 50% stake in each project. This means that as each development is completed and sold, the company will receive interest on the development finance it provided plus a share of the development profits.
The downside is that as a shareholder, it will also be more heavily exposed to the risks of each development.
AdvertisementAdvertisementThe prospectus allows the company to undertake most types of property development in New Zealand and Australia. But it is likely much of the investment will be in the $3.5 billion Albany City project on Auckland's North Shore.
St Laurence is already heavily involved in the plan to build a large number of offices, shops and apartments on a 50ha site next to land where Westfield is developing what will be New Zealand's largest shopping mall.
In a complicated ownership structure, the freehold title to the Albany City site is owned by North Shore developer Rick Martin's Cornerstone Group.
St Laurence has joined forces with Symphony Projects, a company majority-owned by developer Colin Reynolds, to form Albany City Holdings Ltd, which has a perpetual leasehold interest over the entire site. This company, in which St Laurence has a 35% stake, acts as master developer for the project, on-selling individual sites to third party developers.
This puts St Laurence in the box seat to provide development finance for various projects within the development.
St Laurence managing director and majority shareholder Kevin Podmore said he had one project at Albany in his sights as an investment for Property Development Fund Ltd.
The was an apartment development called The Foundry being planned by developer Chris Minty.
Minty is a former managing director of Symphony Group - a separate company to Symphony Projects, but one in which Reynolds is a minority shareholder.
Podmore said The Foundry would suit the new company's investment criteria because it would be built in three stages, each stage taking about 18 months to complete construction and sell the individual apartments.
But Minty's plans weren't quite at the stage where the company was able to commit to it, Podmore said.
"We'd look to get involved once there's reasonable certainty in terms of consents being in place and those sorts of things," he said.
St Laurence is looking to sell 2000 investment parcels of $5000 each, with the ability to accept the same amount in oversubscriptions. This would give the new company $9m from the bonds and $1m in share capital, or up to double those amounts if fully oversubscribed.
Additionally, St Laurence Holdings will buy one share in the new company for each one issued to outside investors, giving it a 50% stake and doubling the company's equity.
All up, this could give St Laurence Property Development Fund Ltd up to $22m, enough to get involved in some substantial developments.
The main risk of this investment is that the money will be used purely to finance property development, which is an inherently risky activity, something Podmore acknowledged.
"It's seen as being most suitable for investors who have a reasonable tolerance for investment risk and who seek the opportunity for a higher return," he said.
"Or for investors who want to enter the property development market but are not able to fund such activities themselves."
The Albany City project has advanced significantly with the sale of over 10 hectares to third parties, including 2 hectares to a residential developer, 3.3 hectares to an owner occupier, and 16 commercial sections to a development company. A further 4.8 hectares of land is already under contract to a third party. The remaining land will be developed by Symphony Projects Limited or sold on for development by third parties.
A resource consent application was lodged for 794 residential apartments in early 2006, to be built in 3 stages over a number of years. As one of the first developments, it will provide a benchmark for Albany City in terms of both quality and scale. This property is now for sale and can be purchased subject to resource consent.
The future development of the site is coordinated by the creation of a Masterplan and Design Guidelines. The Masterplan is an illustrative example of how the North Shore City District Plan can be interpreted, and the Design Guidelines provide a non-prescriptive framework that encourages creative urban design solutions to individual sites. This framework will provide an additional resource to developers, to ensure that the overall site is developed in a comprehensive manner. A Design Control Committee is in place to manage the review process and update the Masterplan and Design Guidelines as required.
The Albany Bus Rapid Transit Park and Ride Station was completed and opened in November 2005. It currently provides 350 public carparking spaces and has the provision for up to 1,200 spaces to be provided. It is already operating at capacity, highlighting the connectivity between Albany City and the Auckland CBD. Westfield has commenced the earthworks for Stage One of their shopping centre which comprises approximately 70,000m2, due to be open by the end of 2007.
At completion Albany City will be home to over 6,000 residents, and provide a work place for over 15,000 people.
I work in Albany and sometimes have to go into Auckland CBD to install software at clients. Driving in even at 9.30am can be crap and parking [email protected]#%^!$!
Taking the express bus is sweet and comfortable. Haven't yet had real problems with parking but definately noticed the growing demand. When the stations first opened I took the kids for a trip into the CBD and yes it was a lot quieter initially.
Constellation station is very similar but will be northern most "online" station. Less parking but way better facillities. Big new (5-7 floors) Police Station just outside on Parkway Drive. There's shopping over on Constellation drive - though I admitt these stores are targetted more at the lads - hardware, home suppliers, electronics. Theres Pass-N-Punt and Burger King at the corner of Constellation and Parkway.
So yes some could take a train from Glen Eden to Britomart and then an Express Bus to Constellation to get something from Bunnings if you needed.
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