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October, 2019

A final milestones been reached in the development of Queenstowns

massive Shotover Country subdivision.

The last of its 810 residential lots went unconditional this month.

Its a major achievement for principal developers Sharyn and Grant

Stalker, whose main aim was to fill pent-up demand for locals,

particularly families, to get their feet on the property ladder.

That demand was proven time and again by how quickly various stages

sold out.

Remarkably, however, it took the couple five years to rezone their 202

hectares from rural to residential.

Theyre indebted to lawyer Warwick Goldsmith and planner/surveyor

Neil McDonald for their help in getting the plan change through.

They believed in the project when the council didnt support it, Grant


Four months after the plan change became operative in December,

2012, the first titles were issued.

The average section sale price then was $158,000, compared to

$420,000 now, giving early buyers, in particular, good capital gains 

houses now routinely sell for about $1 million.

Grant says the market, in the form of resales, effectively set successive

price levels for the 20-plus stages.

Section sizes ranged, mostly, from 450 square metres to 960sqm.

Unusually, the entire subdivision was sold by the developers themselves.

Sharyn says they quizzed all prospective buyers about their

circumstances and their intentions to build  land investors were ruled


Their guess is that 80 per cent of sections have been bought by

prospective owner-occupiers, and the balance by investors whove built


Grants surprised how many buyers have added one- or two-bedroom

granny flats, which theyve rented out to assist their mortgage


Airbnb, on the other hand, isnt allowed in the later stages of Shotover


One of the biggest buying triggers, the couple believe, has been

Shotover Primary School, which they lobbied hard for.

Its become a community hub and its rapid growth has been exciting to

see, Sharyn says.

The Stalkers personally helped the school over its first five years, and

Sharyn still supports its music room, called Sharis Music Suite.

They also gifted three hectares of reserve land which has been

developed into a multi-purpose sportsfield for school and community


Sharyns also played a major role in landscaping the subdivision, and

with ongoing maintenance, even if its now councils responsibility.

As part of the plan change, land was also gifted for a 44-home

affordable housing development undertaken by the Queenstown Lakes

Community Housing Trust.

Shotover Country still has land set aside for commercial and medium-

density unit development, which the Stalkers son Kristan will start next

year  its in the final stages of the consenting process, Grant says.

The couple earlier called for expressions of interest for a commercial

development, but they found limited demand, possibly due to the

volume of activity on the Frankton Flats.

We appreciate the people and families who took advantage of

opportunity, risk and rewards to purchase Shotover Country lots and

helped make the community it is today, the Stalkers say.

We are only sorry we couldnt meet the demand of all interested

parties, as the numbers on our database continued to grow.

Source: Mountain Scene

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