$800,000 loan bid rejected for NZ’s first crowdfunded commercial development


The Collett’s Corner complex will include apartments, shops and a well-being centre in the centre of Lyttelton.

The-Press

The Collett’s Corner complex will include apartments, shops and a well-being centre in the centre of Lyttelton.

The team behind the country’s first crowdfunded commercial development have been turned-down for an $800,000 Government loan, meaning the project will be delayed by at least six months.

The $15.5 million three-storey Collett’s Corner comple on the corner of London and Oxford streets in Lyttelton was due to open in December 2022 but the funding scheme was stalled due to Covid-19.

Once completed, the Christchurch project will feature a wellness centre, hospitality outlets and shops on the ground floor and 20 privately-owned apartments above.

Ohu Developments gained resource consent in March and hoped to attract further crowdfunded equity, but the plan was put on ice when the level 4 lockdown was introduced.

READ MORE:
* Lyttelton project Collett’s Corner gains resource consent, hits pause because of coronavirus
* Feedback for Lyttelton’s Collett’s Corner development mostly positive
* Award-winning Lyttelton project design changed a ‘great deal’

The team then applied for a Government ’shovel ready’ project loan, which would have enabled them to keep to the original timeline, but they were unsuccessful.

They now hope to launch the crowdfunding campaign in October, pushing-back the opening date to at least May 2023.

Concept designs for what Collett’s Corner , which will now be completed in May 2023.

The-Press

Concept designs for what Collett’s Corner , which will now be completed in May 2023.

Project steward Camia Young – who purchased Collett’s Corner in 2013 and is a founding partner of Ohu Development – said she was surprised and disappointed the loan application had been unsuccessful.

“It would have been awesome if we had the loan because we could have run the equity crowdfunding a little bit later and we could have kept the project on track and opened on time,” she said.

Camia Young is the architect behind Christchurch's Pallet Pavilion and now heads the Collett’s Corner development.

The-Press

Camia Young is the architect behind Christchurch’s Pallet Pavilion and now heads the Collett’s Corner development.

“Because we weren’t granted it, the project continues to be on pause until we can run the equity crowdfunding.”

She said they were not eligible for the loan because Collett’s Corner does not have employees, only contractors, and cannot demonstrate a loss of revenue “because we never had any revenue, such is the nature of property development”.

“We have already run one successful crowdfunding [campaign], which is great. We do it in tiers, as we reduce the amount of risk. We then go out again and raise the next level.

“The aim was to raise $800,000 minimum and $1.4m as a maximum and that would have kept us on track, and we feel confident we will be able to raise that when the economy settles down.”

During the project’s resource consent consultation process, the Christchurch City Council received 167 public submissions, of which 133 supported the development and 32 opposed it. Two were neutral.

Young said although the development attracted objections, there is “overwhelming support for the project”.

“I was really surprised when Collett’s Corner didn’t get backing because we weren’t asking for a grant, we were asking for a short-term loan,” she said.

“It’s a total regeneration project with well-being at its core, so it was a bit of a surprise and disappointing.”

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