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Northland development opportunity

Northland development opportunity
attracting attention

With renewed vigour recorded in the Northland property market at the close of 2012, and a widely-tipped ‘flight to the north’ likely as buyers are priced out of the heated Auckland market, development opportunities are once again coming under the spotlight in the Northland area.

A 37% rise in property sales in the Northland region for December 2012 was the highest increase recorded across the country according to REINZ statistics. Agents in the region are reporting the highest levels of sales, new listings and buyer enquiry they’ve seen in at least four years.

“The Northland region is finally seeing a positive spin-off from the frenzied activity we have seen in Auckland’s property sector,” says Mark Macky, director of Bayleys in the North which has five Northland offices.

“Signs of recovery in the Northland economy are heartening and the region looks set to rebound on the back of the over-stimulated Auckland market.”

One hour north of Whangarei, a property in two titles totalling just over 6ha has been placed on the market for sale with Bayleys. Close to the major attractions of the Bay of Islands, and with daily flights out of Kerikeri airport, the location is bolstered by the affordability factor with ‘Auckland dollars’ going a long way.

The property - which was originally set up as a dairy farm in the 1960s before being converted to orchard blocks with supporting packing shed and coolstore facilities – is owned by Martin and Diana Visser who garnered a groundswell of support for their plan to create a motorhome village on the site back in 2010.

Alan Broadbent from Bayleys in the North’s Kerikeri office says the Vissers got “well down the track” with the concept before putting it on hold. However, the plan may still “have legs” if a laterally-thinking buyer wished to pursue it.

“Approved plans were in place for what would be the first purpose-built motorhome village in New Zealand. Freehold building sites for villas aimed at semi-permanent residents to own and live in when not touring or travelling overseas, were on the drawing board,” says Broadbent.

“The thinking behind it was to create a place where people could live affordably and securely while sharing workshop and storage facilities for their motorhomes,” says Broadbent.

Already in two titles, the land has approval for further subdivision and offers multiple possibilities.
“Approval is currently in place for the first stage of a three-stage subdivision into residential lots of approximately 2000sq m. Much of the infrastructure for this development is already in place, with some established internal roading, underground power and telephone, and a reliable water supply,” explains Broadbent.

“The land is gently sloping, with mature trees and shelter creating an attractive backdrop for both existing buildings and future new developments.”

A new owner has the options of proceeding with the residential subdivision; utilizing all the facilities towards one major activity; or retaining a chosen area of land and selling the balance.

There are two existing dwellings on the property; a generous two-level, four-bedroom family home with a tidy self-contained flat on the ground floor, and an adjacent separate cottage-style workshop/studio, with approval to be converted into another dwelling.

“The wild card in the mix is the 1200sq m former coolstore/pack-house building with an additional mezzanine area and upstairs accommodation,” says Broadbent.

“In the Visser’s original motorhome village concept plans, this building was to have been the linchpin as it has capacity to store up to 16 motorhomes at any one time. Quite feasibly, however, this huge shed could have appeal as a recreational venue, a covered equestrian centre, an indoor market or even a training facility.”

Broadbent says a full range of grazing or growing options are available for the fertile pasture land if productive usage is on a new owner’s radar.

“With Kerikeri 20 kms to the north, Paihia a similar distance to the east and Whangarei an hour south, established markets are within easy reach of this property if lifestyle farming or horticultural angles are pursued.”

Pakaraka is an historic Northland area. The property for sale is located just along the road from Holy Trinity Church, one of New Zealand’s earliest churches with important links to Henry Williams, a prominent early missionary for the London-based Church Missionary Society.

The property will be auctioned by Bayleys on Friday 22nd February 2013 (unless sold prior).



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