Parkbridge apartments in receivership

01:43, Jan 31 2009

The Parkbridge apartments saga ended yesterday with the company behind the luxury complex put into liquidation in Christchurch.

Although the 19 high-profile apartments opposite Hagley Park, on the corner of Bealey Avenue and Park Terrace, went on the market well before the property crash, low sales made the complex a symbol of the current property doldrums.

Priced between $1 million and $3m, the apartments, designed by Sir Miles Warren, incorporated two historic houses designed by Samuel Hurst Seagar and Cecil Wood.

Associate Judge Tony Christiansen sounded the death knell for Park Terrace Apartments Ltd when he put it into liquidation at the request of the Inland Revenue Department, which is owed $242,152, in the High Court in Christchurch yesterday.

The shares in Park Terrace are owned by Sharon Bartlett, who is the wife of Christchurch developer and former bankrupt Dennis Thompson.

Murray Blackmore, the husband of former Christchurch City councillor Paddy Austin, and lawyer Arthur James Keegan are the other shareholders.


The company directors were Bartlett and Blackmore.

The total indebtedness of Park Terrace is unknown but finance company PMIT Nominees Ltd is owed $2m under a mortgage over just one of the apartments.

Mascot Finance has a second mortgage over the property but PMIT says it is unlikely the sale of the unit will raise enough to satisfy the Mascot mortgage. In May, Thompson said two of the units had been sold and five were under contract.

Blackmore said he did not know exactly how many units had not sold but companies which had second mortgages over the units would probably miss out.

"Time will show it's a fantastic development but the market is just not there for it."

The company would not have many debts but he had lost a lot of money on the development.

"If the second mortgagee doesn't get paid, we don't get paid," he said.

July is turning into a watershed of sorts for companies owned by Bartlett who is assisted by her husband in running the businesses. On July 11, she put another four of her companies into voluntary liquidation owing nearly $4m to creditors, including Inland Revenue.

These were:

Queenstown Property Holding Ltd, which owned a block of 30 shops and 40 apartments in Queenstown. Debts $283,311.Desmond Holdings Ltd, which owned a property in Helmores Lane, Fendalton, Christchurch, subdivided into four sections. Debts $3,214,743. Addington Shopping Centre Ltd, which owned a block of shops on the corner of Lincoln Road and Clarence Street, Christchurch. Debts $85,707. Lilybank Station Ltd, which bought Lilybank Lodge near Tekapo in 2002 and sold it in 2007. Debts $412,513.

Bartlett declined to comment yesterday.


The Press