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Local development on the land

Excerpts from interviews with Leigh Hopper when he has been speaking about development and the future in the Mercury Bay area.
 |  Pauline Stewart  | 

The location of unique topographical features of Whitianga and Mercury Bay has been a driving factor to allow Whitianga Waterways to grow and develop a wide variety of opportunities and offerings for people to make their home in Whitianga (this is true of Pauanui also).  I am talking about offering people a vision of what it is like and could be like to live in this region.  When they visit I want them to get a glimpse of that vision or when they read or hear about it, I want the to explore tat vision further. Come and live here is my invitation.

The subdivision of land is a basic step towards providing people an easy to follow passage to choosing land, deciding on a style of home and then building and finally living here. Sometimes the home is ready built for a buyer.  Either way, however you want to see it, available real estate is a key to growing communities and their economies.  I wish every real estate company well because then the community will develop. At this time, there are a lot of properties for sale.  There are long term plans being worked on that will continue to improve our roads and eventually our infrastructure.  The Mercury Bay Area and indeed the Coromandel Peninsula can only go forward. We have a number of practical issues to face but they are surmountable.

As for our part here, rolling out any development and delivering on that, builds confidence in the market and in our customers and in business in general. The environment and amenities we build speak for themselves. People are prepared to outlay a lot of money in pursuit of a better lifestyle and a better place to live. We want to provide that at a number of levels. The consequence of that however is that property values go up. The principles of supply and demand come to play because there is a limited amount of places available. The prices of all of the properties have also gone up to the extent that the workforce on low wages can’t afford to buy a house here. Everywhere you get a good development like this, you get this situation.

It’s a product, a consequence, of doing good development. But I see there are local building companies who are working to offset this situation, in communities like Matarangi and the developments in Wharakaho.  We need to do more for the hospitality workers who are skilled but yet buying into real estate is still beyond them with the current base prices, lower wages and higher interest rates.  Our commitment and aim is to carry on here in Whitianga and to encourage a variety of dwellings to provide for a varied and talented workforce in addition to retirees, business owners and holiday batches for out-of-town residents.

The Moorings: Six villas are now complete.  Stage one of The Moorings will eventually comprise 18 residences, while the long-term (8-10 year) plan is for up to 220 units. We are offering a certain level of care to satisfy the growing needs of the ageing population in the region. “We wish to provide a number of different retirement living options. Enabling a top level of medical care along with this is a priority for Hoppers.

Dockside: Stage One has been open for a few months now.  People seem very pleased with the indoor/outdoor retail experience and the very special waterfront aspect and approach. The Whitianga Waterways Sales Office provides access by car, bike, boat and foot. Everyone can come there.

Concert and Event Park:  We have proposed to build a new concert park event facility on council land to become a major amenity asset.  The plan includes two arenas with a stage in the middle All of this will lend itself to a range of events including car shows, galas and of course, concerts in addition to the Summer Concert. The costs of construction including, transport, formation and grassing is on Whitianga Waterways Ltd and is estimated to cost $6m.

These are all excerpts form conversations with Leigh Hopper. Hopper Developments has brought a great deal to this region and will continue to do so.

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