How Russian billionaire’s love affair with New Zealand led him to invest in affordable Kiwi housing.
When scientist-turned-Russian billionaire business, Alexander Abramov was growing up in the Soviet Union, he didn’t think that he’d one day fall in love with a New Zealand.
After graduating from the faculty of Molecular and Chemical Physics of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and obtaining his PhD in physics and mathematics, Abramov jumped into the world of global imports. He quickly founded Evraz, a company active in steel, mining and vanadium. After Evraz listed on the London Stock Exchange, Abramov became a multi-billionaire and today his net worth is estimated at $8 billion.
So how did he get to investing in New Zealand’s affordable housing market?
Passionate about New Zealand
Abramov’s travels around the world led him to New Zealand. On one of his visits, he fell in love with the beautiful Helena Bay region and bought a massive country estate between Whangarei and the Bay of Islands.
The Russian billionaire poured literally millions into the seaside property and turned into a luxury, gated resort. The original plan for the lodge was that it was to serve as Abramov’s private property. It was listed as one of the most expensive private residences in the country. In the end, it was turned into a guest lodge.
Sprawled over 300 hectares of land, the spectacular Helena Bay Lodge is Abramov’s $50 million refuge – a magnificent retreat which can accommodate up to ten guests in villas on the water’s edge, and where he heads with his wife and three children to relax from his crazy travel and business schedule.
The lodge is surrounded by hundreds of acres of lush vegetation and hidden coves, offering endless opportunities for outdoor activities, including mountain biking, paddle boarding and kayaking.
It is also equipped with a 25-meter swimming pool for guests to enjoy.
It’s important to remember that one of the conditions of purchase for the Helena Bay Lodge was that Alexander Abramov prove that he was of good character.
Extending his Stay
Last year, it was announced that Abramov was broadening his stake in the country by investing in affordable housing in New Zealand.
Abramov invested in property development via a platform called Targa Capital with permission from the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office to invest in several residential property developments throughout the country.
Authorities stated that they were satisfied that Abramov met all the requirements to pass the investor test and that the “applicant is likely to comply with the mandatory and additional conditions of consent.”
“The applicant considers its proposed investments will result in an increase in the number of residential dwellings constructed in New Zealand,” it was written in the report.
Targa Capital partners with organizations and has so far completed over ten projects. Most of them are in the Auckland area, but some are in Queenstown and Wellington.
Abramov invests in high-quality, low-end and affordable apartments. His company sees the opportunity of affordable Kiwi housing since it is obvious that there is a huge need.