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City-fringe commercial block mooted as Tauranga’s next location to undergo redevelopment

Tags: Commercial

The expansion and redevelopment of mixed-use building sites in Tauranga’s central business district and city fringe continues to move at a rapid pace – with yet another parcel of land being placed on the market for sale.

The flat countered site at 160 – 168 Devonport Road comprises some 2,019 square metres of freehold land and is currently occupied by three commercial tenancies – including one of the Bay of Plenty’s biggest Government-affiliated health and disability charities, Life Unlimited Charitable Trust.

However, a senior real estate salesperson in the city believes the location’s most likely future use would be as a redeveloped mixed-use low level office and apartment block with retail offerings at street level.

The freehold land and single-storey buildings within the block at 160 – 168 Devonport Road are being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Tauranga, with tenders closing at 4pm on September 14 unless sold prior. The land is zoned city centre business.

Bayleys Tauranga salesperson Lloyd Davidson said the property – which sits between First and Second avenues – would most likely be bought as development proposition sustained in the short to medium-term as a fully-tenanted investment while the necessary planning consents and approvals were acquired to deliver a new entity.

The Devonport Road property currently generates a combined annual rental income of $138,500 +GST, and is classified for city centre zone use. Individual tenancies within the block encompass:

• Imported ethnic foods retailer Tauranga Asia Supermarket – occupying approximately 571 square metres of space on a lease running through to 2022 with the potential for rights of renewal

• Life Unlimited Charitable Trust – occupying 385 square metres of space on a lease currently running through to June next year with a further three-year right of renewal and

• Gym operator Beyond Fitness occupying approximately 205 square metres of space on a lease running through to May next year, with three further three-year rights of renewal.

“Tauranga Council’s city centre zoning is designed to maintain and enhance the role and function of the central business district as a commercial, retail and civic hub,” Mr Davidson said.

“The council city centre zoning allows for the potential development of buildings through intensification of use up to a 16 metre height - which for this location could sustain a mixed-use scenario with retail operations continuing on the streel level, and either commercial premises or residential dwellings on the upper floors.

“Under the development scenario, any apartments built on the eastern portion of this block would have unobstructed views of the inner-harbor, while occupants and tenants would enjoy easy access to the heart of the city – a core theme of the city centre zoning.”

Mr Davidson said the 160 – 186 Devonport Road property was the latest real estate venture in Tauranga to be put forward for major redevelopment under a new use format to reflect the changing demands of the city, its users, and residents.

Other such locations and redevelopment projects announced over the past two years include:

• The $90 million Waikato University campus in Durham Street encompassing a 12,000 square metre student hostel.

• Two levels of new commercial office space and a street level array of new hospitality operations within the 4,000 square metre premises known as The Reserve in Harrington Street – due for completion in the first quarter of 2018

• Three floors of new commercial office space and a street level array of restaurants and bars within the 950 square metre Fifty One The Strand development on The Strand, also due for completion in the first quarter of 2018 and

• The Westpac Building at 2 Devonport Road is currently undergoing due diligence for a proposed $50 million re-development, to including premium retail sites at ground level, office space through the middle floors, and high end apartments on the top floors.

Devonport Road is the main arterial route linking Tauranga’s central business district with the city’s south-western urban residential fringe. As well as facing directly into Devonport Road, the block being sold has right of way access from both First and Second avenues.

The Life Unlimited portion of the Devonport Road property includes 18 car parks. As well as the main administrative and retail building facing onto Devonport Road, Life Unlimited also utilises a 22 square metre transportable office at the back of the property.

Meanwhile, the Tauranga Asia Supermarket business has four allocated car parks, and Beyond Fitness gym has two car parks for clients attending the business’s various free weights, box-fit, pilates and physiotherapy sessions.

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