Arbor House was sold in mid-July. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN
Little more than a week after Greytown rest home Arbor House closed its doors on October 21, the trust which ran it went into liquidation.
John Marshall Scutter was appointed liquidator on October 29.
In mid-July the trustees sold the land and buildings to a newly established company, Arbor Holdings Ltd for $800,000, well below its September 2017 QV [rateable value] of $1,380,000.
The Main St property’s land area is 2340 sqm.
Arbor House Trust chairman Rob Tuckett said he was pleased to have found a buyer as they needed to sell to get out of debt. He hopes the liquidation process will put the trust in the clear.
“I knew we would need to sell and WCM Legal directors knew this. I was pleased to have a buyer before the new development the Orchards was to open.”
The lawyers for the trust are WCM Legal Greytown. Its directors approached the trust with the offer to buy Arbor House and Arbor Holdings Ltd was then established.
An AHL director, Jason Carruthers, who is an associate at WCM Legal, said it had no idea Arbor House residents would not be its tenants.
“The trustees signed a six-year lease, it was a good situation for us and the occupants,” Carruthers said.
“It had been operating for over 30 years as an age-care provider so we thought this would continue but three months after our purchase it is empty.”
Carruthers said he and the other owners have found the rumours about them “kicking out elderly around Wairarapa” upsetting as they had no intention of doing that and were surprised to get their tenants’ notice and to hear the trust was in liquidation.
Scutter said the now liquidated trust paid their rent to the new owners and both parties went in on the understanding that each party could give the other 30 days’ notice.
“It is early in the liquidation process and I am looking at the lease and various other matters about contracts in play at the time of liquidation,” he said.
The new owners have engaged a real estate company to promote the premises as a commercial ‘business hub’ location.
“We have no intention to develop the property,” Arbor Holdings Ltd said. “It is a good commercial property we had the opportunity to buy.”
The liquidator has given until November 26 “as the day on or before which the creditors of the trust are to make their claims and to establish any priority their claims may have, or to be excluded from the benefit of any distribution made before the debts are claimed or, as the case may be, from objecting to their distribution”.
When Arbor House closed its doors it had 19 residents and around 40 staff. All residents have found homes.