A sizeable chunk of urban mixed-use development land once promoted as Marsden City just south of Whangarei has been placed on the market for sale through a receivership process.
The 83 hectare block of land is made up of 88 titles – with resource consent granted to subdivide an additional 45 residential sections. A sealed roading network throughout the land has been completed, with preliminary infrastructure services laid for telecommunications, and waste water connections.
The freehold block – adjacent to State Highway One - is being marketed for sale as one lot by tender through Scott Kirk of Bayleys Auckland and Duncan Napier of Bayleys Warkworth under instructions from the receivers. Tenders close on August 27.
Bayleys Auckland salesperson Scott Kirk said the site’s multiple zonings allowed for a multitude of end-use configurations - encompassing residential, commercial, and industrial components. The land – which has gradually been developed since the mid-2000s – was first zoned for purely commercial and industrial uses, but a private plan change several years ago saw a portion of the land rezoned for residential use.
The land for sale sits on the fringe of the designer residential and retail urban development known as Marsden Cove, along a coastal strip heading south from Marsden Point Wharf and the adjacent oil refinery.
“The portion of land facing onto State Highway One linking Whangarei and the Far North to Auckland is zoned for light industrial and commercial activities,” Mr Kirk said.
“As a cornerstone of urban support infrastructure, this land was identified to house the likes of a large Foodtown/Countdown/Pak ‘n’ Save supermarket - whose customer catchment area would encompass Marsden Cove, Waipu, and as far south as Lang’s Beach.
“In addition, there is the opportunity to build a neighbourhood-style convenience retail block - potentially containing such units as a pharmacy, liquor store, pizza outlet, and petrol station with an internalised multi-national fast-food component. The last four years has seen an increase of such hubs on the outskirts of provincial New Zealand cities immediately adjacent to major roading or motorway links.
“Both of these options could still be successfully undertaken, as the business cases for both of them are unchanged in terms of competition and the population demographics.”
Mr Napier said the developer’s over-arching vision for Marsden City was that businesses located in the eastern precinct of the land would not only be close to motorway access, but would also act as a sound-barrier for the neighbouring residential sites.
“Meanwhile, the east-facing portions of the site are zoned for residential development – either as larger lifestyle-sized blocks in their current configuration, or with some degree of densification if the current additional subdivision consents are initiated,” Mr Napier said.
“The larger residential section sites allow for strategic tree-plantings enabling the residential neighbourhood to be effectively partitioned off from their commercial and industrial neighbours – thereby creating a clean line of land use demarcation.
“Obviously being somewhat more inland from the waterways and marina aspects of Marsden Cove, sections at Marsden City would be priced at lower levels. This point of difference will still be available to any new owner of the Marsden City land.”
The residential component of Marsden Cove was first released to the market in 2012 - promoted as an upmarket coast lifestyle location as a satellite town to Whangarei some 20 minutes drive north.
“The land being sold through the receivers is not part of the original Marsden Cove masterplan development, but was bought and developed with the intention of partially replicating then piggy-backing off the anticipated growth of the coastal hub,” Mr Napier said.
“Marsden Cove is predominantly a residential development. The intention was that Marsden City would be the retail, commercial and light industrial land to service residents living in Marsden Cove. The hard work has been done over the past three years in getting the block to its current status.”
Mr Kirk said that because there were so many potential land-use combinations for the 83 hectare site, it would be virtually impossible to put a suggested dollar value on the total parcel.
“Developers will have their own visions for what can be done with the block. Obviously the per square metre rates vary considerably between industrial or residential end-use, and that impacts on the up-front values depending on what percentage of the land is allocated for that purpose,” he said.
Data from the Real Institute of New Zealand shows that residential land-only sales across Greater Whangarei – in both volume and dollar-value – have been increasing steadily since September 2012.
“This increase in activity is a good indicator for the next owner of this land on the best possible land usage,” Mr Kirk said.