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Sale of Wellington CBD land nets $25 million as demand grows

One of the last remaining pieces of land in the Wellington CBD, currently home to a car yard, has changed hands off market with a price tag of $25 million.

Covering 7500sqm on the corner of Taranaki and Jessie Streets in Te Aro, the sought-after property is being developed into 152 low rise freehold terraced houses ranging in price from $788,000 to $1.48 million. Ninety per cent have already been sold off the plans in the $130 million project.

Sydney based Stephen Sutorius is behind the development company Thames Pacific. He has been living there and in Hong Kong for the past decade while being involved in both Sydney and Auckland residential developments.

Originally from the capital, Sutorius said he understood the Wellington market and saw significant opportunities.

“Wellington ticks all the fundamentals of property investment, with its lack of suitable land and strong demand for housing in an undersupplied market; it was a logical place to invest. We’re actively looking for more development sites at the moment in close proximity to the city centre but finding suitable land – without complexities - is difficult.”

Sutorius said there was potential to develop a 27 metre high complex but he felt there was more appetite for low-rise.

“There are already a lot of high rise residential developments in the city, however, we know there’s strong demand for low rise accommodation, especially given concerns around earthquakes coupled with rising insurance premiums for multi-level apartment buildings.”

Dubbed The Paddington, after the Sydney suburb, the houses will be predominantly residential along with a handful of live/work accommodation. Configurations include large one-bedroom, two-bedrooms and dual keys live/work-style properties ranging from 68-76 square metres. The balance will be three-level, three-bedroom terraces between 98 and 116 square metres.

The deal was brokered by Sam McIlroy of Colliers International in Wellington.

“There’s a real scarcity of land available for development in the CBD. Land prices have steadily increased over the past decade and there has been further pressure as the supply dwindles. Developers are now looking at new development opportunities and these parcels of land often have existing buildings sitting on them. The developments range in size and form from apartments to hotels and townhouses.”

McIlroy said it was one of the largest transactions of land in Te Aro for many years.

“Te Aro is a diverse area and is made up of a largely flat southern end of the CBD. There is a real mix of businesses from office to light industrial. Land is becoming scarcer as more residential developments take place bringing more people to live in the city. This has led to some of Wellington’s best restaurants and cafes becoming established in the area.”

Construction is scheduled to begin early next year with completion in late 2021.

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