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Sites on reserve tender

Monika Singh
Friday, May 19, 2017

OVERWHELMING response has been received on the recently launched published reserve tender for four development sites on Naisoso Island.

Bayleys Real Estate Fiji director and partner Philip Toogood said the site developer Bob Lowres decided to offer the sites for sale and expressed a keen desire to ensure his wishes to meet the market were clearly understood.

Mr Toogood yesterday said the opportunity to develop the sites had been offered previously with Mr Lowres, marketing one of the sites in the form of a managed resort apartment development plan under the Peppers brand, however, the project did not get off the ground.

Naisoso Island has already seen an investment of more than $114 million with the northern portion of the island developed into three high-end residential precincts with virtually all of the individual lots sold and many of those already built on.

"Our strategy, which Bob was happy to run with, was to offer the properties to the market by way of a Published Reserve Tender. Recent 2016 valuations were made available and after internal discussion, the reserves were set.

"The feedback we have had from very savvy investors and developers in Fiji and beyond is that the reserves are very competitive and whilst we are looking to complete sales at levels above the reserves, provided the reserves are at least met, the final outcome will be determined by the market itself," said Mr Toogood.

He said they now had enquiries from some of the major property players in Fiji and from parties in New Zealand, Australia and Asia.

He said he just returned from Hong Kong where he met Bayleys Global Associates, Cushman and Wakefield to promote the opportunity, as well as individual investors and developers, some of whom already hold properties in Fiji.

According to Mr Toogood, the quartet of freehold properties was located in the luxury island enclave of Naisoso Island, on the periphery of Nadi, immediately across Nadi Bay from the entrance to the well-established Denarau Island tourism and hospitality hub.

He said all were being offered for sale as vacant development sites and formed part of the Naisoso Island master plan.

He said the unusual move of disclosing the reserves not only set a minimum benchmark the vendor would accept, but also provided developers and investors with key data inputs for preliminary due diligence undertakings before the tenders.

According to Mr Toogood, Naisoso had been developed over the past 10 years by Australian property entrepreneur Mr Lowres.

"With Denarau now almost fully developed from a commercial accommodation and hospitality infrastructure perspective, Naisoso Island is the obvious destination for resort developers and operators seeking prime freehold, correctly zoned with all services, coastal land in close proximity to Nadi," Mr Toogood said.

"The proximity of Naisoso to Denarau, as the crow flies makes it feasible that there will be the establishment of a regular ferry service between the two destinations within the foreseeable future.

"With aquatic transportation links to the outer islands leaving from Port Denarau, along with the golf course as a visitor attraction, a ferry service across the estuary would ensure Naisoso's resorts deliver a more laid-back feel to their guest offering.

"The consenting scope for development of the hotels on the landholdings for sale — most notably the density and height restrictions — have been applied under the Nadi Rural Town Planning Area framework," he said.

"These construction guidelines underpin the area's future relationship with the sea on one side and the forested hills on the other and ensure any building development is ethically undertaken."

One of the development sites is already under a conditional contract.

Each of the sites has been allocated to a different target market development opportunity, featuring:

* Already under contract, 4.6269 hectares (11.47 acres) designated for the establishment of a four or five-star hotel or resort complex. The site has the potential to accommodate a three-story hotel with up to 178 apartments;

* 3.9922 hectares (9.86 acres) beachfront lot designated for the establishment of a five-star hotel or resort complex. The site has the potential to accommodate a three-story hotel with up to 270 bedrooms. The tender reserve has been set at $F11.85m plus VAT, supported by a 2016 valuation of $F16.56m;

* 2.3887 hectares (5.92 acres) beachfront lot designated for the establishment of a four-star hotel or resort complex. The site has the potential to accommodate a three-storey hotel with up to 202 bedrooms. The tender reserve has been set at $F7.08m plus VAT, supported by a 2016 valuation of F$9.945m; and,

* 3084 square metres of riverfront land designated for the establishment of a "wellness centre". The tender reserve has been set at $F1.5m plus VAT supported by a 2016 valuation of $F2.165m.

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