Green's Harbour mansion for sale

Andrew Robinson
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Not enough buyers showed interest in planned resort project: developer

This 10-bedroom country estate in Green's Harbour is now being sold by developer Nolan Hall for $2.65 million. It was initially meant to serve as the centrepiece of the proposed resort property Fields of Athen-ry.

Almost three years ago, the owner of development company Nolan Hall told The Telegram the proposed Fields of Athen-ry resort project in Green's Harbour would attract a lot of high-end tourists.

Now, a Tudor-style mansion that was set to house a spa, restaurant and country inn is up for sale, with the remaining estate lots to be sold for development. That's because not enough people showed interest in buying the condominium villas associated with the project.

"We had, out of the 50 (villas), I would say 25 were (pre-sold), but that's not enough," said Kevin Nolan.

"If we didn't have the 50, we weren't going to move forward."

The project was linked to a provincial government resort property tax investment credit aimed at encouraging individuals and businesses to buy into resort properties. It offers a 45 per cent tax credit to those who invest in such properties.

Under the resort plan, the villas would have been placed in a rental pool for three-quarters of the year, with purchasers receiving a portion of rental revenue.

The 85-acre country estate consists of a fully furnished 9,000-square-foot mansion with 10 bedrooms, a triple bay garage with a partially developed studio apartment, an open plan arched-roof barn, an Amish-style horse barn, a secondary barn and garden sheds.

"For somebody, it will make an amazing country estate or a full-time home," said Nolan. "We're not selling a business."

The mansion was built in portions over the last 30 years, according to Nolan, though its interior was given a complete overhaul within the last two years.

The final decision concerning the feasibility of the resort was made last year, according to Nolan.

The country estate is now on the market for $2.65 million, while the 50 one-acre estate lots will be sold for prices ranging from $38,000 to $98,000. Most estate lots are either on or overlooking the ocean.

"For our company, it's less complicated to do it this way," said Nolan. "With the 50 villas, it was a 20-year program under the Newfoundland tax program, so it was longer term - much longer. This here is less complex for our company. Was there disappointment? Maybe for a minute. But all of a sudden, it's turned around with a new project. So it's not really a disappointment. You've got to understand, we're a real estate brokerage house. ... Our job is to sell real estate, and that's what we're doing."

While he remains confident that Newfoundland and Labrador is still a good market for resorts, Nolan said the province did not do enough to sell the tax credit program.

"A lot of people didn't fully understand it, and that makes it a little more difficult from a developer's point of view, to have to sell the provincial tax program."

Plans to sell the country estate were only recently publicized, and Nolan said two inquiries have thus far been made concerning the property.

Asked about what makes the property unique, Nolan said while it's a secluded site, Green's Harbour is within commuting distance to Long Harbour, Bull Arm, Argentia and St. John's International Airport.

"It's a property (where) someone could fly into St. John's from Europe, the U.S. or Upper Canada, and they could be there in 55 minutes."

He also makes note of its proximity to icebergs and whales in the summer and the wealth of mature growth within its gardens, including apple and pear trees.

"It's not something you'd expect. You drive up the driveway, and all of a sudden there's this stunning property that seems like it's own little world." Twitter: TeleAndrew

Organizations: International Airport

Geographic location: Athen, Newfoundland and Labrador, Amish St. John's Long Harbour Europe U.S.

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Recent comments

  • DeborahHOWELL
    March 29, 2013 - 01:37

    why is it that the people 0f greens harbour was not aware of this if its a taxes things . what is this all about now so much

  • Joey the Small Wood
    July 12, 2012 - 07:16

    Nolan alludes he is pitching this project to Europeans who might be attracted to the trees and whales. I got news for you. Europeans have trees too. And how many whales are they gonna see here? Seriously this was a lousy bit of market research. And Nolan Hall were not the first developers to target Europeans, that ill-fated development near Deer Lake was the first flop. Europeans can travel to all kinds of exotic locations why would they want to come to Newfoundland en masse?

  • M
    July 04, 2012 - 14:49

    OK. It is obvious many of the people submitting comments do not understand the tax credit system applied to these types of developments. Government does not pay money to anyone until the entire project is complete. As this project was not near completion, no Government money was involved. The investors tied up their money in the hopes of a large return; now they are attempting to liquidate the assets to get money back with little or no return. Sorry outcome but it happens more often then people know in development projects. No government money was spent.

    • David
      July 04, 2012 - 15:55

      This complete lunacy of this tax credit / policy is nothing more than every other big government 'idea'...dreams and intentions are overruled by the Law of Unintended Consequences. In this case, developers have gone off building things in places without any actual demand for them, intoxicated by the potentially extra-robust economics of increasing the prices of units to effectively capture the entire tax credit scheme for themselves, not the end owners. Subsidizing something that would otherwise NOT be done by rational, free market is ALWAYS pure folly. That lesson could be learned very early on (as in this case) or eventually (Humber Valley Resort [government land gift + irrational R/E bubble], Sprung Greenhouse, etc. etc. etc.....). If there is a product or service, the market will provide. When it comes to interfering in business, government money is almost always pure poison.....for the Newfoundland version, just remove the word 'almost'. If the government wants to ensure that our oil dividend is spent and invested precisely as it should be, it should simply write cheques to Newfoundlanders---like Alaska does. Then, the money will be spent EXACTLY as it was meant to be spent....I guarantee it.

  • FR
    July 02, 2012 - 19:27

    Looks like Nolan Hall has something that they don't want .... and nobody else wants it either. Who wants to buy a mansion in Green's Harbour ??????

  • Brett
    July 02, 2012 - 13:15

    My understanding was that the tax credit was always just for the provincial portion of the tax, not the federal, so the benefit was not as great as you would otherwise think. Also - if you are trying to build something brand new - that's a huge difference between say converting an existing hotel to condo's/timeshare since you actually have an existing business and can forecast sales. The build it and they will come mentality will cause people to lose a lot of money. (Included in that is the other Nolan Hall project on the waterfront of St. John's with prices at $600/sqft).

  • Duffy
    July 02, 2012 - 11:17

    Wonder how much that venture cost the taxpayer - if anything..................NL Government will do anything from financing idiot projects (beets, mushrooms, sugar, Russian Fruit Trees, call cemnters) to selling their soul for a few jobs.....which hopefully will get them a few votes and oh yea forgot polluting areas for industry like Long Harbour's acid pond(s). Wonder why the other Provinces do not want some of these projects. Was this one of them ?

  • David
    July 02, 2012 - 11:02

    Why is there no middle ground between doing nothing, and swinging wildly for the fences for the grand slam homerun? Why is Newfoundnad so replete with stories just like this...of absloutely unproven, baseless assessments of markets that simply do not exist? And why does the government and taxpayer money have to constantly step in the middle of everything and distort what is an othwerwise simple, market-driven business like real estate? Danny's 'gifts' of flaming dog poop on the stoop keep on givin'....

  • Edmund
    July 02, 2012 - 09:48

    Like mom used to say "Much wants more but often gets less". This so called real estate company has finally bit off more than they can chew. All of their projects have had to have our tax dollars involved in some way, shape or form and the idiotic govnt. beaurcrats have swallowed these high end projects, that should only be done with private investors, hook, line and sinker. Why do they get involved with our money like this in the first place. I guess they want to feel important and have private tours of these properties and be invited to the cocktail parties so they can tell everyone. BUT, when things go south these same public servants are nowhere to be found. Forget these stupid investments and put our tax dollars into health care, long term care and other worthwhile projects to assist the less fortunate. As for Nolan Hall, I guess you guys are not as smart or as good at this business as you think you are. Da!!

    • Nolan Hall
      July 02, 2012 - 21:12

      You obviously are misinformed and have read this article wrong ? Nolan Hall received zero dollar's from the government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 100% of the funds that went into this project have been solely from their company . 10 persons have been employed from the community. If more projects like this do get started rural Newfoundland will have a lot more going for it.

    • Edmund
      July 03, 2012 - 11:17

      In response to Nolan Hall comment - This project would not have proceeded without the Government tax credit, and you know it. The problem is that you simply screwed up and did not know your market and were totally wrong in your prediction of the value of the tax credit to would be purchasers. Bottom line is, you did use government funds (programs or otherwise) to do this project. To use the excuse that you employed up to 50 people (most likely seasonal) to justify the project is absolutely foolish as these poor souls are now faced with the challenge of finding new employment (good luck outside the oil & gas Industry) or going on EI, so where is the benefit in that, other than you built this so called "mansion" on the backs of locals for minimum wage jobs. Take a look outside your bubble and see what the rest of the world looks like, especially those less fortunate who you have taken advantage of.

  • saelcove
    July 02, 2012 - 09:24

    and the tax payer has been taken again