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Historic residential properties surrounded by industrial neighbours go on the market for sale

Tags: Commercial

Two of the last-remaining original residential homes in what is now one of Hamilton’s foremost industrial suburbs have been placed on the market for sale.


The two residential properties in Te Rapa are flanked by factories, warehouses, and bulk storage yards. They believed to have once housed horse stables as part of the area’s thoroughbred racing heritage linked to the nearby Te Rapa racetrack.

Located at 56 and 60 Sunshine Avenue, both properties are zoned industrial under Hamilton City Council’s district plan. Neighbours around the sites include the likes of Three Brothers timber yard, Greene Brothers power tool repairs and servicing workshop, Tony’s Panel vehicle body repair shop, and a freight storage yard.

Number 56 Sunshine Avenue has existing residential usage rights emanating from the three-bedroom home on site, while, the small dwelling at 60 Sunshine Avenue has been used as an office - with light industrial activities having been run from the garaging space at the rear of the site.

The freehold land and buildings at 56 and 60 Sunshine Avenue are now being marketed for sale at auction individually on December 6 by Bayleys Hamilton. Salespeople Rebecca Bruce and Jordan Metcalfe said it was purely co-incidental that the two near-neighbouring properties had come onto the market at the same time as they were owned by different vendors.

“The house at 56 Sunshine Avenue has been lived in by its current owners for some 30 years, while number 56 reverted to industrial use in the 1990s and housed a welding business,” Ms Bruce said.

“Both rectangular-shaped sections are 1,012 square metres in size – capable of sustaining warehouse, manufacturing, or engineering entities from a development perspective.

“Subject to appropriate council consenting, there is the possibility of creating a terraced strata titled-style structure on either of the sites.

“Alternatively, they could be bought as passive investments suitable for tenanting – number 56 as a residential location with twin garages at the end of the driveway, and number 60 to the likes of an industrial entity.”

Mr Metcalfe said over the course of researching the history of both addresses, he discovered that the homes were linked to Hamilton’s thoroughbred racing scene – housing the trainers and stable hands who tended to the horses competing at Te Rapa race course some 200 metres away.

The Hamilton Racing Club began holding races at its Re Rapa track in 1924 when the club bought some 161 hectares of land to build a track, stabling and jockey amenities, grandstand facilities, and parking.

“We hear anecdotally that when the course was created, and for several decades after, Sunshine Avenue and its surrounding streets were part of the whole Hamilton Racing Club empire,” Mr Metcalfe said.

“There were stables, various ancillary training tracks, and a range of dwellings lived in by those associated with the wider racing sector. As Hamilton grew, and Te Rapa evolved into an industrial precinct, those equine activities moved to satellite Waikato towns such as Matamata, Cambridge and Morrinsville.

“Over the decades, blocks of the former equestrian activity land have been sold off, and the paddocks and handful of homes converted into industrial premises. These properties in Sunshine Avenue are virtually all that remains of that bygone era.”

Under Hamilton City Council’s district plan, the industrial zoning for Sunshine Avenue allows for buildings and tenancies with activities based around industrial undertakings – such as warehousing, manufacturing plants, storage yards, and factories whose processing methods have limited environmental impacts.

Ms Bruce said that as each of the properties was being sold separately, it was difficult to estimate a value on their respective potential sale prices.

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