Hot Topic Reporting season
Hot Topic Reporting season
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Chris Cook tells worried investors stalled project is all fine

The owner of the Albany Heights Villas project says it is on track to start soon, but more disgruntled investors come forward to say they have heard nothing.

Caleb Allison
Wed, 10 Oct 2012

Asian investors in an intensive housing development on Auckland's North Shore say they have no idea what is going on, but owner Chris Cook says everything is on track.

Following yesterday's story outlining investors' concerns about the lack of progress on the Albany Heights Villas project, Mr Cook contacted NBR ONLINE to explain the lack of communication.

"We sent out a project update to our clients when we refinanced [in July] and stated the next one would be once construction is started, although another update did go out a few days ago.

"The project is due to start in the next month to six weeks," Mr Cook said in an emailed statement.

"We are extremely excited to be finally in a position to start building, and although the project has been delayed and had setbacks earlier this year the majority of investors have been supportive, with only a few grumblings.

"Now that the project is funded any doubts should be gone."

The Albany Heights Villas development was in serious trouble in June when Adrian Burr and Martin Reesby's Spinnaker Capital called in its mortgage and instigated a mortgagee tender to recover its funds.

NBR Rich Lister John Copson's Crown Money refinanced the loan at the last minute.

Crown Finance managing director Chris Arbuckle told NBR ONLINE he could not comment because of client confidentiality, but says he is happy with the situation.

"As far as I'm aware, everything's progressing well."

However, more Asian investors contacted NBR ONLINE overnight to say they have not been updated on the project for some time.

One investor says: "We are looking for Chris Cook and there are lots of queries we want to clarify."

Another, from Singapore, says he bought an option for a unit in November 2010 and "had last heard from the developer on December 11, 2011".

An Auckland-based investor also contacted NBR ONLINE with concerns about stage two of the development, saying: "It is concerning to know that we are not the only ones."

Caleb Allison
Wed, 10 Oct 2012
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Chris Cook tells worried investors stalled project is all fine