Development ticking the boxes
Following the meteoric success of Hanley’s Farm’s early stage lot sales, RCL Group is now focused on delivering amenities and infrastructure.
RCL Group chief executive David Wightman says while the Queenstown property market is currently “incredibly strong”, being aware of property cycles and factoring them into a planning strategy is vital.
Initial sales must be matched with measured development, including infrastructure, to ensure the ongoing success of Hanley’s Farm regardless of the property market, he says.
“[We need to] make sure that we are bringing forward the necessary infrastructure, that the component parts of delivering a community are there and there early.
“This will help us to ensure this project navigates the cycles well.”
RCL Group anticipates Hanley’s Farm will be vital in contributing to boosting the housing supply in the Queenstown area, he says.
When completed, it will comprise about 1750 lots.
Based on modelling of Queenstown’s anticipated demand for new housing in the next seven to 10 years, this number will account for between 35% and 50% of forecast new dwellings into the catchment.
“We always felt that once Hanley’s Farm got into the market and actually started delivering sections that it would do quite a considerable amount to alleviate the supply problem that exists in Queenstown.”
RCL Group’s vision to provide affordable sections is not targeted at a specific demographic, but to provide what would be expected of a large master-plan community aimed at catering for the broader population while incorporating
comprehensive community infrastructure.
“It’s about offering a broad spectrum of sections to the market so that you are also able to cater to the challenges of affordability which are obviously acute in Queenstown.”
The early stages of the project will include development of large parks, links to bridal trails and other recreational amenities, in addition to the extensive Queenstown Lakes District Council owned infrastructure such as town water and sewerage.
“You have to bring a lot of that community infrastructure into the project early to create the community fabric so people can live there and not find themselves on a section in the middle of nowhere.
“The release of that infrastructure is always critical.”
Establishing amenities early also creates a greater level of confidence and satisfaction among residents who become avid word-of-mouth promoters of the development.
“Their referral network is very strong. If they’re enjoying living there, then they’re going to recommend it to other people who are thinking about it.”
While it would be possible for Hanley’s Farm to incorporate a total 2200 lots, a lot yield of about 1750 is seen by RCL Group as “optimal”.
The location of Hanley’s Farm has many attractive advantages, David Wightman says.
It is flat, with a sunny aspect, has an absence of flight paths, and for the short commute to Frankton or Queenstown will further benefit from the building of a new two-lane bridge at Frankton, which has historically been a traffic bottle-neck.
Dominated behind by the dramatic backdrop of The Remarkables mountains, it features clear views to Lake Wakatipu and to mountains beyond.
“We think it ticks a lot of boxes. It’s certainly a very special location, there’s no doubt about it.”