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Tara Iti golf course opens, exclusive home sites offered


Tara Iti Clubhouse Aerial 3519 copy-492Legacy Partners Ltd have announced the initial real estate offering at Te Arai, a 1,400 acre beach-front property that serves as backdrop to the new Tara Iti Golf Club, scheduled to open for member play in October.

Designed by American course architect Tom Doak, and just 75 minutes drive from the Auckland CBD, Tara Iti golf course was laid out amid the dunes north of Te Arai Point, a favored headland among Northland surfers.

Otherwise, the stretch of beach – some 11 kilometers in length, spreading north from a surf break known as The Forestry – remains largely undiscovered, despite its location less than 100 km from the Auckland Harbor Bridge.

Auckland-based Legacy Partners is a boutique real estate brokerage firm that markets iconic and exclusive New Zealand property, while at the same time representing buyers from New Zealand and overseas. With this real estate offering, Te Arai is the first Legacy Partners community to elicit widespread public notice.

Today, the only finished structure at the Te Arai course is the Tara Iti clubhouse, designed by Auckland-based Cheshire Architects. According to Legacy partner Michael Pleciak, the complete build-out plan at Te Arai calls for just 46 individual home sites across 600 hectares of freehold land. Buyers may acquire home sites or completed residences – all boast access to the community’s 5.5 kilometers of Pacific Ocean frontage.

“This low-density approach is the land-planning handiwork of John Darby at Queenstown-based Darby Partners,” said Pleciak. “Clearly, the limited number of homes here, on such a huge property, further underlines our commitment to the natural environment at Te Arai.”

Tom Doak’s course design at Tara Iti Golf Club differs from his only previous work in New Zealand, Cape Kidnappers GC in Hawkes Bay, where the soil is not sand-based and cliff-side golf holes sit hundreds of feet above the surf. Tara Iti GC instead occupies the sandy dunescape along the beach itself.

Doak, club principals and a few special guests had the opportunity to test-drive Tara Iti during an April sneak preview event.

“Once a golf course routing is finished, we start building holes in some sort of sequence that makes sense for construction purposes, and we pretty much never walk the course in order from 1 to 18 until it’s ready to open,” Doak said. “So, what I appreciated most about Tara Iti during this recent visit was the pacing and rhythm of it. What also struck me is how much it plays like a links – and how fun that is. You can't take your eye off the ball until it stops rolling.”

Because of his track record working in the links environment, Doak was the only course architect considered for Tara Iti, according to Legacy partner Jim Rohrstaff.

“Of the 11 home sites that border on the golf course, 9 are already spoken for – but we will have 35 beautiful beach-front home sites sitting on 5 kilometers of Pacific Ocean. It’s difficult to see these sites and not be reminded of the Hamptons.”

Legacy Partners enjoy the exclusive authority to market the real estate assets of the New Zealand Land Fund (New Zealand Land Fund 2 GP Limited), which is dedicated to the prudent development of prime oceanfront, mountain and lake property throughout the North and South islands. The General Partners of the Land Fund are Darby Partners of Queenstown, Los Angeles-based Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, and Terrapin Palisades Ventures, also of Los Angeles.

In addition to Te Arai and Tara Iti Golf Club, Legacy Partners are involved with several other notable projects across New Zealand.

“Our firm also represents other New Zealand vendors in the marketing of premium property to purchasers both domestic and overseas,” Pleciak explained. “With this overall portfolio, it has been Legacy’s goal to assemble the very best properties New Zealand has to offer. Te Arai and Tara Iti GC more than meet this standard, so we felt it was high time we brought them to the public’s attention.”

Tara Iti GC is named for the New Zealand fairy tern, a bird species that has spent several decades on the country’s critically endangered list. The club logo features a fairy tern in flight, and club founders have established a charitable trust – the Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust – to conserve and protect fairy terns and other threatened, at-risk shorebirds on the Te Arai property and surrounding area.

According to Gwenda Pulham with the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, 39 fairy terns were assessed at the beginning of the 2014-15 season. In April, Pulham reported that figure had grown to 43 – a small but appreciable increase for such a critically endangered bird. Pulham also reported the dotterel count reflected a significant population increase over the last two years, from 231 to 274.

The clearing and development of Tara Iti GC, in addition to selective clearing for housing sites, has played a major role in the marked diminishment of fairy tern predators.

“In everything we have undertaken here – from the meticulous development of Tara Iti and the home sites, to supporting the Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust – the priority has and will always be protection and preservation,” Legacy’s Jim Rohrstaff says. “So far as we’re concerned, this effort serves our own interests and those of club members, home buyers and the entire regional community. The native environment here is such an important part of what makes Te Arai extraordinary – one of the truly special places in the world of real estate.”

SPECIAL PLACE: Framed by attractive coastline, the Tara Iti clubhouse sits gently among the sand dunes. (PHOTO/Joann Dost)

“In everything we have undertaken here – from the meticulous development of Tara Iti and the home sites, to supporting the Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust – the priority has and will always be protection and preservation,”

- Jim Rohrstaff, Legacy Partners Ltd

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