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The new owner of Pegasus Town – Todd Property Group – held a rebranding business breakfast last week.
Pegasus Town is a subdivision 20km north of Christchurch where the original developer, Bob Robertson of Infinity Group, recently lost the confidence of funders.
In December 2012 Todd Property Group announced that it had bought the town from the receivers. At that time the debt owed to New Zealand Property Finance Partners was $142 million.
Evan Davies, managing director of Todd Property Group, addressed a 40-strong group of guests and outlined the benefits of the coastal subdivision – it does not overlook the beach, however, and is set back behind dunes and forests.
But aside from completing the selldown of the two-thirds sold development, Todd Property is not planning to invest in the additional commercial infrastructure promised by Mr Robertson for the original concept of Pegasus town, which is becoming another dormitory suburb similar to Rolleston, located about 20km south of Christchurch.
Mr Robertson’s list of amenities was to include a hotel, yacht club, equestrian centre, spas, office buildings and the like.
Nor will the development have quite as many residents as claimed by Mr Robertson. Mr Davies says that on completion in a couple of years there will be about 1636 sections and about 4500 residents. There are 485 sections yet to be completed, with two-thirds ready for sale this year.
The biggest boost in a community sense is the relocation of the nearby Woodend School to a new facility at Pegasus to cater for the growing numbers of youngsters expected.
Mr Davies indicated that a doctor’s service and pharmacy would be an important addition to the restaurant and shop already on site.
Meanwhile, Infinity’s Mr Robertson is moving ahead with plans to develop the similarly-sized block of farm land on the opposite side of the road to be called Ravenswood.
Mr Davies of Todd Property, told NBR NZPI that it would not compete with Todd’s sales because of the time lag bringing it to market. He was comforted by the sight of cows happily chewing grass on the site.
Mr Robertson recently said he anticipated site works beginning early in 2013 and prices for the 100-odd residential sections would be cheaper.
It was not a “traditional receivership” that wrested away his control of Pegasus Town, he said.
It was a case where the new owners of the debt were demanding repayment and it was not feasible to do so while in the middle of a project.
“There were no covenants broken. We got a waiver of the covenants during the middle of the earthquakes.”
Mr Robertson also claimed he had obtained Hong Kong institutional funding to “rescue” his Pegasus development that would have matched what Todd Group had paid.
But his funding package would have required Overseas Investment Office approval, with all the attendant delays.