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Auckland’s 'Sohole’ finally sold


The Soho development in Ponsonby - once valued at $250 million - has been sold by Grant Thornton receiver Tim Downes after a $20m deal struck last year failed to proceed.

Chris Hutching
Thu, 30 Jun 2011

The Soho development in Ponsonby, Auckland has finally been sold by Grant Thornton receiver Tim Downes after a deal struck last year failed to proceed.

In mid-2010 NBR reported how “Sohole” was under sale contract for about $20 million to Innovus, a company owned by Richard Stillwell after a marketing programme by Bruce Whillans (then with CB Richard Ellis – before he moved to Ray White).

But Innovus and mortgagee, Fortress, were unable to agree on terms.

The site remained a 1.3h giant hole in the ground, blighting the trendy inner city neighbourhood, and hated by all bar the 10 trillion mosquitoes who moved in over summer.

Now a new buyer has emerged but the details won’t be revealed until Friday. It is understood that Fortress will be out of the picture and not a funder in any way.  

Fortress Credit Corporation is the first mortgagee which appointed Mr Downes as receiver in November 2009 after default by developer Layne Kells’ company, Ponsonby Mall Trust, to obtain pre-sales for the planned residential units at Soho. Fortress is owed $23.1 million and second mortgagee Strategic Finance is owed $69.7 million.

Since the deal fell over, the receiver has obtained further resource consents allowing for 45,000sq m of development compared with 35,000sq m previously.

It was previously touted as a $250 million project.

Chris Hutching
Thu, 30 Jun 2011
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Auckland’s 'Sohole’ finally sold
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