Ormiston Rise buyer vows to build all 727 homes: 296 KiwiBuilds from $650,000

The business that has offered to buy a stalled 727-home Auckland housing project has vowed to complete all the works, including 295 Kiwibuilds where prices started at $650,000.

A spokesman for The Neighbourhood Ormiston said work on the project at Totara Park near Manukau would resume once construction was allowed under a lower alert level and that company was not in any financial difficulties.

Financial difficulties beset the current owner, Ormiston Rise, which The Neighbourhood Ormiston said was selling the project.

The sale hasn’t gone ahead yet.

Settlement is due on September 10 after being deferred from an earlier date.

A letter from accountants Calibre Partners to suppliers of Ormiston Rise and Ormiston Rise Development (both in receivership) advised the sale on that date and said services should after then be provided to the new owner.

Neale Jackson and Grant Graham of Calibre Partners are receivers for both companies.

Buyers have expressed concern to the Herald, complaining that homes they hoped would be finished by now have not. They say the holdups and change of ownership don’t give them confidence and they wonder when their new places will be finished and when they can settle the transactions.

The Neighbourhood Ormiston’s spokesman said so far, deposits of 10 per cent had been taken on 174 homes pre-sold for $650,000 each. Those are all safe, he said.

The deposits were taken on $113m sales, of which $11m has for some months been held in a trust account managed by law firm Anthony Harper, The Neighbourhood Ormiston’s spokesman said.

He doesn’t want those buyers to be worried because he says the new owners have the ability to deliver the homes.

All up, 21 homes are completed but not connected to services. Nor have code compliance certificates been issued, he said.

The buyers cannot complete transactions and take possession of the houses. Sales are conditional on services being connected and code compliances being issued pre-settlement.

“A further eight homes are completed and off-site, ready to be taken there when alert levels change,” the spokesman said.

No one yet lives at Ormiston Rise, 17 Totara Close, Totara Park, across from Manukau City on the eastern side of the Southern Motorway.

On May 7, Ormiston Rise Ltd went into receivership and on August 25, Damien Grant was appointed as the administrator.

But The Neighbourhood Ormiston’s spokesman said today the two companies were separate and while one had the financial trouble, the new owner did not.

“The first of about 174 homes will be delivered from January next year,” the spokesman said.

Last week, the Herald reported that insolvency specialist Grant’s appointment.

Grant of Waterstone Insolvency was appointed by the Ormiston Rise board of directors and is now working with the company.

Receivers were appointed by big United States business Arena Alceon “who may have been protecting the deposit holders”, Grant said last week.

“I know there is $137m outstanding [claims by creditors]. I understand the sale price was in the order of $200m but I have been unable to verify that,” he said of the land deal.

He is spending at least a week fully understanding what has occurred so he can do his best as the voluntary administrator, he indicated.

Waterstone says administrators have powers very similar to liquidators, “except they are charged with trying to save the company”.

They do that by trying to get the creditors to agree to waive some or all of the money owed and allowing the company to come out of administration and to trade on under the same ownership, Waterstone says.

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