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Wynyard Quarter's only freehold development site for sale - Colliers

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The last freehold development site in Wynyard Quarter is available for sale, presenting an unparalleled opportunity to deliver a premium mixed-use development in the fastest-growing commercial and residential precinct of the Auckland CBD.

Spanning an entire city block at the corner of Beaumont, Pakenham, Daldy and Gaunt Streets, the 9,793sqm property comprises a level, regular-shaped site across five freehold titles.

It is situated close to the waterfront at the heart of Wynyard Quarter - the home to many of New Zealand’s largest and highest-profile corporations, as well as some of Auckland’s best apartment developments, hotels and hospitality providers.

The site benefits from a resource consent allowing for a 52,000sqm development of 434 apartments and retail over multiple buildings with varying heights up to 46m.

Existing improvements include multiple buildings with a range of tenants, providing an approximate total passing income of $1,144,047 while a new owner makes plans to unlock the site’s potential.

Colliers International’s Capital Markets team has been exclusively appointed to seek a new owner for the property at 121- 135 Beaumont Street and 184-200 Pakenham Street West, Wynyard Quarter.

It is offered for sale by way of an international expressions of interest campaign. The first stage of the two-stage campaign closes at 4pm on Thursday 25 February, unless the site sells earlier.

Peter Herdson, National Director of Capital Markets at Colliers International, says it is difficult to overstate the site’s potential.

"This is the largest freehold development site available anywhere in the Auckland CBD, and the very last freehold development site in Wynyard Quarter.

"Opportunities to acquire freehold development land of this scale, and in such a sought-after location, are rare.

"Strategically located in Auckland’s western CBD, Wynyard Quarter provides some of the best mixed-use waterfront land in New Zealand.

"While much of the CBD’s waterfront land is on leasehold tenure, this site offers the significant advantage of five freehold titles with generous zoning, providing for a range of intensive mixed-use development options.

"The site’s appeal is further consolidated by its existing resource consent, providing options for a new owner to either develop now or land-bank with holding income.

"This will, without a doubt be one of the best Auckland CBD development opportunities to come to the market in 2021."

Jason Seymour, Capital Markets Director at Colliers, says Wynyard Quarter is currently in a period of intense development.

"The 37ha precinct has undergone a significant transformation over the last ten years, from a closed industrial hub to a high-quality mixed-use precinct with significant amenity. Upon completion, Wynyard Quarter will be home to around 25,000 workers and 3,000 residents.

"This regeneration has been encouraged by Auckland Council’s development arm, Panuku Development Auckland, which has taken a people-centric, design-led approach to urban planning.

"Panuku’s plans incorporate high-quality public spaces, parks and a sustainable built form that is comfortable in scale to provide light, views and weather protection.

"Numerous high-profile developments have been completed in recent years, attracting some of New Zealand’s largest corporate occupiers. Wynyard Quarter is now home to the national headquarters of ASB, Air New Zealand, Kiwibank, Genesis, Microsoft, Fonterra, IBM, Datacom and many more.

"The precinct also provides significant amenity for residents, visitors and workers including more than 30 bars and restaurants, the 600-person ASB Waterfront Theatre, ANZ Events Centre and a curated public space in Silo Park.

"Wynyard Quarter is also home to New Zealand’s newest luxury 6-star hotel, the Park Hyatt Auckland alongside 5-star offerings including The Sofitel and The Sebel.

"The area will also be the focal point of the 2021 America’s Cup, hosting the team bases and attracting between 20,000 and 50,000 spectators per day throughout the event."

The site for sale is zoned Business City Centre and Wynyard Precinct B, providing for a range of uses including commercial, residential, retail, entertainment and hospitality.

Height controls allow for development of between 25m to 31m. However, the recently granted resource consent benefits from an integrated development plan allowing for a built form of up to 46m in height.

The consent provides for a comprehensive residential-led redevelopment spanning the entire city block. It comprises six new buildings, between three to 13 stories high, including 344 apartments, 90 serviced apartments and 3,845sq m of ground floor retail, including 683sq m of marine retail.

A further two levels of basement will provide for 505 car parking spaces, accessible from Pakenham Street West.

The site has view shafts to the city, Victoria Park and Westhaven Marina. The consented plans focus on a large open public plaza, complemented by public lanes throughout the development.

The property is well located to transport and amenity, being within walking distance to Victoria Park, North Wharf, and neighbourhood bars, cafes, and gyms.

Numerous bus routes service the area, including regular Link services. The property is also a short walk to the DowntownFerry Terminal and Britomart, providing train, bus and ferry connections throughout Auckland.

The site also offers excellent access to the motorway network via the Fanshawe Street on-ramp 200m away, and the Union Street on-ramp 1.6km away.

A range of existing improvements are in place, having been built between 1910 and 2000. Demolition clauses in the leases allow a new owner to commence redevelopment as suits.

Richard Kirke, International Director with Colliers’ Capital Markets team, says Auckland remains a sought-after investment location.

"Demand for property has been resilient throughout the global Covid-19 pandemic, with investors particularly keen on residential development land.

"Colliers International has transacted more than $500 million in development land sales in Auckland since the first Covid- 19 lockdown in March.

"A key driver of this demand is New Zealand’s favourable lending environment, which benefits from low interest rates and an Official Cash Rate of 0.25 per cent.

"Another factor is New Zealand’s positive migration and demographic forecasts, which will support residential demand into the future.

"Some 33,000 New Zealanders have returned home as a result of Covid-19, according to Statistics New Zealand. A good proportion of the 220,000 New Zealanders living in Australia, with no access to social security, are also expected to return home over the coming months."

Kirke says Auckland’s housing shortfall is estimated by MBIE and the RBNZ at between 43,000 and 55,000 dwellings and growing, with an estimated 400,000 new homes required over the next 30 years.

"This shortfall in the face of growing demand has led to rising residential prices, particularly in prime city centre locations and the more popular suburbs.

"Sales have held up through the most recent Covid-19 lockdown. Auckland recorded the most residential sales in August for over five years, while prices hit an all-time high. The median house price is now $1,000,000, up 20 per cent year on year.

"The residential development pipeline has been ramping up to meet this demand. Residential construction activity in Auckland is forecast to reach $12.2 billion by 2022 - an increase of 28 per cent from 2018 levels."

Kirke says the Auckland office market also has strong appeal for offshore investors.

"The Auckland office market continues to represent good value, with a 5.1 per cent yield spread over 10-year bonds - the highest in a major APAC market.

"While office vacancy has increased from its cyclical low, reflecting the impact of Covid-19, rental rates remain strong due to a historical shortage of supply."

Kirke says investors from New Zealand and offshore are continuing to seek good development opportunities in Auckland.

"The Wynyard Quarter site for sale has immense appeal, given its sought-after location, freehold titles, resource consent, holding income and Auckland’s solid demand for new housing. With so much potential, we are expecting strong levels of enquiry from investors, developers, joint ventures and other entities."

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