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Consented Hobson Street Site With Scope For Intelligent Apartment Development

A strategically-located inner city Auckland development site with consents in place for a multi-level commercial accommodation facility, has been placed on the market for sale by the first mortgagee.

The 563sqm freehold site on the western fringe of Auckland's central business district, has dual frontages to the main one-way arterial Hobson Street, and to Nicholas Street – which runs through to Nelson Street.

The CBD lies to the east of the site, the Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter to the north and Victoria Park to the west.

The property is zoned Business City Centre and has a 50-metre height overlay. There is a Resource Consent in place along with various building consents.

Cameron Melhuish and Lloyd Budd of Bayleys Auckland Central are calling for tenders on the property, closing 4pm, Thursday 5th November.

Melhuish said there used to be a 1930s’ four-level commercial office building on the site and this was demolished to make way for the proposed Eve Apartments complex, which did not proceed.

“The initial consent for this site was for an architect-designed 12-level 60-unit apartment development comprising freehold apartments from 41sqm to 71sqm – all with generous balconies and basement carparking.

“Subsequently, plans were drawn up and consents obtained for a 108-unit hotel development with ground floor retail space.

“Significant money – well over $1 million – has been invested in due Council process to get these consents so in that regard, the back of the administrative side of things has been broken for a new owner.”

Given the tight footprint of the site, and the market fundamentals currently in play in central Auckland, Budd said the highest and best use for the site is likely to be residential apartment living.

“With the hotel sector under pressure due to border closures and the complete lack of international tourism, plus the fact that there has been significant investment in developing new hotel stock in the city, the current consent would seem somewhat out of step with demand fundamentals.

“The broader Hobson Street area is a proven one for residential apartment living with the third stage of the Sugar Tree development now selling down, and other developments well-entrenched.

“Nearby, the SkyCity International Convention Centre and Hotel are well underway, the City Rail Link is progressing and there’s so much within walking distance – including the University of Auckland city campus, the Aotea Centre, City Works Depot and the existing SkyCity precinct.

“This is a well-connected part of the city and given a few more years, the area will be well and truly humming.”

Melhuish said the site needs the right person to put their mark on it and with affordable housing the words on everyone’s lips, there’s inherent opportunity to go back to the initial concept plans for the site.

“Apartment living is finding new momentum in the market and the target audience is expanding,” he said.

“With interest rates at an historic low and still decreasing, plus the fact that the younger generation are keen to embrace inner city living with a minimal footprint and no need for a car – there’s intrinsic potential to develop this key site intelligently to meet the market.”

Short-term holding income could also be possible from a car park operator who has expressed interest in the site.

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