Bids to wrap up the general and limited partners behind the flagship development were filed in the Hamilton High Court last month

Prominent Auckland property developer Du Val Group has filed to liquidate the entities behind its flagship 17-storey Lakewood Plaza apartment building in South Auckland.

Du Val, a developer and wholesale investment firm, filed for the liquidation of Lakewood Plaza Limited Partnership and Lakewood General Partner in the Hamilton High Court last month.

The limited partnership which developed the asset and is controlled by the general partner comprised of Du Val, Hamilton construction firm Downey and Wellington Beds owner Paul Bary.

Downey and Du Val each control 40 percent, with Bary’s Steelgrave Investments controlling the remainder.

Duval said it had purchased the remaining assets in the building in a $10m deal and was moving to wrap up the partnership which had now run its course. 

Du Val’s property management site has studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments in the building advertised for rent.

The applications will both be heard in court on November 21.

In November last year, a burst water pipe on the 11th floor caused the evacuation of and extensive damage to the property, which had opened just a year earlier.

The property was deemed uninhabitable at the time, though the majority of residents were able to return to the building quickly.

At the time, the company said body corporate insurance was in place to cover lost rent for property owners.

Du Val, owned by husband-and-wife team Charlotte and Kenyon Clarke, has recently fallen on the wrong side of the Financial Markets Authority over how it advertised its wholesale investment funds.

Funds targeted at wholesale investors require less in the way of disclosure, but last year the the FMA said it considered Du Val’s advertising of its Mortgage Fund had contravened fair dealing regulations that disallowed deceptive, misleading or unsubstantiated claims.

The regulator believed Du Val had not been upfront about risk or fees, a view that stood up to a legal challenge in the High Court brought about by Du Val.

Last month the FMA announced it had begun an investigation into wholesale property investment promotors following complaints of non-sophisticated investors being targeted.

It issued warnings to two Du Val entities as well as those of a range of other providers, including Black Robin, Jasper Investments, Williams Corporations Erskin and Owen and others.

Correction : Contrary to property records, the Limited Partnership had sold its remaining assets to Du Val before liquidation proceedings were filed and did not own seven properties in Lakewood Plaza

Andrew Bevin is an Auckland-based business reporter who covers major industries, markets, regulation, aged care and fisheries.

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