One of the region’s largest and most popular tourism, event and hospitality venues Matakana Country Park is on the market.
The 20-hectare site is home to a number of different restaurants and businesses, including The Stables restaurant, Smiths bar, a café, Fitness Matakana, Art Matakana, Matakana Bicycle Hire, a craft shop and jeweller, plus a playground, train rides and an equestrian centre.
Owner John Baker bought the site in 2003 with the aim of creating a range of attractions and services in a rural setting for locals and visitors. But he says after 13 years’ work, he’s reached the stage where it is time to hand over the reins.
“I just feel it’s time for someone new to take over and complete the dream; it’s an opportunity for someone,” he says. “It needs a new lease of life.”
Potential buyers have the choice of buying the whole site, or individual lots, some of which have existing businesses running on them and others with development potential, including some with consents already in place. One lot, which has consent for a lodge for up to 60 people, has already been sold, although Mark Macky, owner and manager of agent Bayleys Warkworth, says he is not aware of any immediate plans to develop the block.
There are also potential approvals in place for backpacker accommodation, a car museum, a cheese factory and a veterinary clinic.
“It’s really all in the eyes of potential purchasers and what people want to do,” Mr Macky says. “There’s lots of potential to take it in lots of different directions. It provides solid holding income, but there’s also real scope for further development.”
Tenders close on Thursday, December 7 and Mr Macky says he is expecting offers “north of $5 million”, which is the basic building replacement valuation.
“How far north, we’ll have to see,” he says. “John’s created a legacy property which is an asset to the district. He’s taken the property, developed it extensively, now it just needs someone with new energy and new vision to take it forward. It’s an X Factor property.”
The country park is being marketed mainly to New Zealand-based buyers, since the size of the site would mean any overseas buyers would be subject to conditions of the Overseas Investment Act, according to Mr Macky.
John Baker enjoying MataCarnival at the park in March.