Owners look to the future of abandoned Waiwera resort

The long-abandoned spa town of Wairewa is being marketed as having extraordinary tourism potential as the current owners seek a development partner or buyer.

The Waiwera Health Resort and Spa.
Photo: Google Maps

The station’s well-documented demise was caused by the sudden departure of its investor, Russian businessman and reported billionaire Mikhail Khimich in 2018, who has since died in Russia with Covid-19.

Now the properties’ current owners, Urban Partners, along with realtor Colliers, are looking for a joint venture partner or buyer for the resort, hotel, water bottling and campground.

Project director Doug Osborne said they expected interest from around the world.

“The site has extraordinary potential, recognized as a regional tourist attraction by Auckland’s Unitary Plan and is zoned to allow for business, residential developments, health and wellbeing, tourism, hospitality and visitor accommodation.

Osborne said the border closures had delayed the search for a development partner.

A look inside the now abandoned Waiwera Thermal Pools

A look inside the now abandoned Waiwera Thermal Pools
Photo: Newsroom.co.nz

“While we have long understood the potential of the site, the subsequent Covid restrictions and associated border closures have added further delays to our goal of finding a great partner who can see the site’s well-being opportunity and work with us to develop the coastal haven to its potential,” he said.

“We have always had high ambitions and the best intentions for this wonderfully unique freehold venue and its thermal waters, and now that the major issues causing the prolonged delays have been resolved, we are pleased to confirm that we are commercializing site to those interested in partnering, developing or purchasing this world-class wellness destination.”

He said the marketing campaign will target the wellness, tourism, leisure and recreation sectors.

Colliers sales manager Josh Coburn said the opportunity to redevelop a coastal enclave near Auckland is unique.

“Waiwera offers what no other property in New Zealand can; a massive coastal development, less than 45 minutes from Auckland’s CBD, with the benefit of a rare geothermal borehole.”

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