Whitby block returns to Todd group

HANK SCHOUTEN
Last updated 16:20 16/11/2012
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FAIRFAX NZ

DUCK CREEK: The former Whitby golf course land which has now been sold to Todd Property Group.

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The Todd Group has bought back a slice of Whitby more than 40 years after it formed a consortium to create the suburb.

Todd Property Group has bought 28 hectares from Whitby Coastal Estates.

It includes former golf course land at Duck Creek and the site of the suburb's new supermarket.

The price has not been disclosed, as both parties have signed a confidentiality clause, but the land had an asking price of $9 million.

The sale to Todd and Adam Reynolds' Cappella Trust Investments was brokered by Colliers International agent Chris Gollins.

Todd Property Group managing director Evan Davies said Whitby offered appealing development opportunities in Wellington's backyard.

"Whitby has seen a lot of the region's residential growth and this site is one of the last remaining larger-sized areas available to be built on. As a result, demand is expected to be strong.

"The final development will see approximately 189 sections and two commercial lots, including the already consented New World supermarket, and includes reserves and open space.

"The area is shaped by a comprehensive development plan agreed last year with the Porirua City Council. Subdivision consent has already been granted for 82 sites and Todd Property Group will be seeking expressions of interest from building partners.

"The company hopes that work will begin this summer, with dwellings available for purchase in 2014," Davies said.

Whitby Coastal Estates managing director David Bradford, who still owns land with a potential for another 200 or more houses, said he was sure the Todd purchase would give development a boost.

"They're better resourced than I am and it's hard to get development financing."

He said his family had owned the land for 14 years, his 69th birthday was approaching, and selling this block to Todd was a move towards an exit strategy.

Bradford said he had also sold just under one hectare to Samuel Marsden Collegiate for future expansion of their campus and held another 29ha of housing land.

The market in Whitby was strong – about 30-40 new houses had gone up in the past year.

The global financial crisis had an impact, but the market had remained steady, judging by the way houses sold fairly quickly after the for sale signs went up.

Whitby began to take shape in 1971 and is claimed to be the fastest growing community in Wellington. It is now estimated to have a population of about 10,000 in more than 3000 homes with room for development of around 500 more.

The development was initiated in 1967 when John Todd and Fletcher Development's Wellington manager Tony Kostanich walked the hilly farmland on the southern shores of Pauatahanui Harbour.

The same year a consortium of Fletcher Development, Jubilee Investments (Todd family) and National Mutual Life purchased 1286 hectares. In 1997 the remaining 64ha of undeveloped land was sold to Whitby Coastal Estates.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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