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Future development site in Newmarket shouts opportunity

One of the last remaining underdeveloped sites with scale and intensive zoning credentials in the central Newmarket precinct, has been placed on the market for sale.

The freehold land and buildings at 15 Eden Street are currently fully-leased to automotive, office and residential tenants however, termination clauses in place provide flexibility for a new owner to effectively secure the site and receive holding income while future plans are consolidated.

Alan Haydock, Damien Bullick and Ian McGowan of Bayleys Auckland City and Fringe team are marketing the property, with tenders closing 4pm, Wednesday 16th September.

The site is 792sqm with 822sqm of buildings and returns a net income of $241,353.51 plus GST per annum.

Fronting one-way Eden Street, are two high-stud warehouse structures. The slightly larger one is leased to Panmech Services Limited, an established automotive business which also has other premises in Eden Street, and the second one is occupied by Auto Services Newmarket Limited which also leases six adjoining car parks accessed via a second roller door. There are termination clauses in the tenants’ leases.

Behind the car park area is a well-presented 107sqm two-bedroom apartment with a separate character commercial/office loft tenancy above. These are both occupied by the vendor, who will take a two-year lease-back from settlement date with a six-month termination clause.

Bullick said the regeneration of Newmarket is well-advanced, leveraging off improved public transport initiatives and its strategic location and said this north-facing site is a sitting opportunity for an astute land banker or developer.

“Revitalisation projects such as Scentre Group’s $790 million Westfield Newmarket redevelopment and The University of Auckland’s Newmarket Campus extensive building programme have further crystallised the area in developers’ and investors’ eyes.

“Parts of the wider Newmarket precinct are extremely tightly-held with a handful of investors historically accumulating multiple sites in a strategic fashion.

“It’s not often that a site like this one in Eden Street come to the open market and while it’s perfectly functional in its current form and returning a healthy income, there’s clearly unrealised future potential given the lenient zoning – and that’s what a purchaser would be securing.”

Haydock said with intensification being the buzz-word for Auckland’s key city fringe suburbs, the best and highest use for the Eden Street site is likely to be a multi-level office or residential development – or any combination allowable under the Council’s plan.

“The location has been enduringly-popular for automotive businesses and creatives who have embraced the concept of industrial-style converted warehouses offering quirky, character space,” he said.

“However, the underlying zoning is the most flexible and intensive outside of the CBD’s Business City Centre category.

“The land in Eden Street is zoned Business-Metropolitan Centre under the Auckland Unitary Plan which encourages and allows suburban retail and commercial hubs to be the focal points for surrounding residential communities supported by high-frequency public transport.

“The scale and intensity under this zoning allows for residential and/or commercial development of up to approximately 36 metres so clearly, the existing two-level structure is underwhelming given this potential.”

The residential option is further underscored by being in-zone for Epsom Girls’ and Auckland Boys’ Grammar schools.

McGowan said that even from a return on investment proposition in its current guise, the property will resonate with the market which is currently actively seeking add-value opportunities.

“Nothing needs to be done immediately as the buildings are fit-for-purpose for the existing tenants and have appeal in the leasing market ‘as-is’, should a new owner wish to landbank for the future,” he said.

“These are flexible buildings with potential for considerable add-value through rental growth.

“The industrial-style workshop tenancies have generous stud height, which could allow additional mezzanine floor area suitable for either retail or character office use or a combination, which could then generate considerably more rental income than is currently being achieved.”

Property address: 15 Eden Street, Newmarket

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