Developer sells Daresbury and other assets

The stately Fendalton home of troubled Christchurch developer Dennis Thompson and partner Sharon Bartlett has been sold conditionally in a tender initiated by the mortgagee of the property.

It follows the recent sale of their south Canterbury high station property, Lilybank, to Auckland-based property and agribusinessman Nicsha Farac. Mr Thompson and Ms Bartlett bought it couple of years earlier for $7 million but the latest sale is understood to have been for considerably less.

Bayleys real estate agent Cathy Graham confirmed the conditional sale of Daresbury but declined to give the price or name of the mortgagee.

A 1901 three-level mansion, Daresbury at 67 Fendalton Rd, on 9100sq m, is one of Christchurch's finest restored old homes with a stream boundary, designed by architect Samuel Hurst Seagar and built between 1897 and 1901. It was the Governor-General's residence in 1940 and 1950 and the Duke of York, later King George VI was a resident guest at that time. It features reception rooms, wine cellar, chiller room and butlers' pantry, office wings, six bedrooms and the top floor includes an entertainment room, billiard room and guest suite.

But Mr Thompson has been less successful selling an apartment development, Parkbridge, overlooking Hagley Park near Carlton Mill. The directors and shareholders of Park Terrace Apartments are Ms Bartlett and a third business partner, Murray Blackmore. Ms Bartlett is listed as shareholder and director in a number of companies Mr Thompson is understood to be involved in.

The apartments, priced between $1.1 million and $3 million, involved a controversial redevelopment of a historic property. Completed two years ago, just two of the 19 apartments have been successfully sold.

Last year a Maltese conman, Martin Vella, signed up to buy 10 of the apartments but failed to settle and has been deported.

Ms Graham said she had been instructed to sell three of the apartments in a mortgagee auction but the other empty apartments were not being actively marketed at this stage.

Other Thompson-associated properties in Queenstown and Wanaka are also on the market and he is also selling down his interest in the Bluewater Resort at Lake Tekapo.

Companies associated with Ms Bartlett and Mr Blackmore - Hornby Property Holdings and 289 Colombo Property Holdings - have recently been placed in receivership under accountant Murrray Allot by Equitable Finance.

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