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Town centre properties set to benefit from major mall expansion are placed up for sale

Tags: Commercial

Two properties in the heart of the Auckland inner-harbour suburb of Birkenhead – and adjacent to what has been planned as one of the biggest property redevelopment projects in the suburb’s history - have been placed on the market for sale.

The two land and building packages both have town centre zonings – allowing for them to be part of potential redevelopment into multi-storey mixed-use premises capable of sustaining retail or commercial premises at street level.

One site sits immediately across the road from New Zealand Retail Property Group’s 14,000 square metre Highbury Mall town hub redevelopment project, while the second site up for sale is just a few hundred metres away from the blueprint location.

The multi-faceted long-term reconfiguration of Birkenhead town centre is based on New Zealand Retail Property Group’s current plans for five mid-rise apartment towers up to 12 storeys high to be built around a new and vastly bigger shopping centre.

New Zealand Retail Property Group released Highbury Mall project to the New Zealand Stock Exchange earlier this year, complete with artists impression of what the finished site could look like in 2030. The company’s planners said: “NZRPG has a large-scale vision for Highbury’s redevelopment. It (NZRPG) anticipates it will not only transform its own property but will be the catalyst for an acceleration of the ongoing gentrification of Birkenhead Town Centre.”

“The vision for Highbury is to create an integrated, mixed-use centre with residential apartments, greater public amenities, and invigorated retail.”

Both the properties being marketed for sale in Birkenhead are being forecast to benefit from both the population and commercial growth of the suburb’s central business district.

Auckland council’s town centre zoning applies to suburban locations located on or near main arterial roads which provide good public transport access. Birkenhead town centre is directly in the middle of the route between Birkenhead Bus Company’s depot and the central city, while the suburb also has a regular ferry timetable operating on the harbor.

The first property at 60 – 62 Mokoia Road contains two single-storey retail premises, with a martial arts gymnasium and fitness centre in the basement underneath which has its own access from a road running around the rear of the property.

Combined, the three tenancies operate from 744 square metres of floor space on 405 square metres of land and generate a net rental of $130,000 per annum. The tenancies consist of:

• Chelsea Paper Power letting 186 square metres of retail space on a month-to-month rental

• EZ Wash Laundromat also occupying 186 square metres of space and

• Fight Culture Limited Thai kick boxing gym housed within 372 square metres of space.

The freehold property at 60 – 62 Mokoia Road is being marketed for sale at auction on October 25 by Bayleys North Shore. Salespeople Michael Nees, David Huang and Nick Howe-Smith said the value in the site lay in its future development potential, sustained by holding income while any necessary planning consents were acquired from the council.

Mr Nees said EZ Wash Laundromat had invested significantly in the fitout and plumbing infrastructure required to accommodate its washer and dryer laundry operations, while Fight Culture Limited had been running Thai kick boxing sessions from the premises since 2011.

“The property at 60 – 62 Mokoia Road was constructed in the 1970s and has sweeping views of Auckland city and the upper reaches of the Waitemata. The new zoning under the Auckland Unitary Plan and the 21 metre building height limit have unlocked the potential for this property as a mixed-used development site that will benefit from its town centre location and unobstructed hilltop location,” Mr Nees said.

“Provisions under the zoning enable blocks of between four and eight storeys in height. The increased height scope for this property will facilitate increased intensification and more efficient use of the existing space – including new and modern office and retail units at street level, with residential units on the upper floors.”

The second Birkenhead property being marketed for sale is at 221 – 225 Hinemoa Street and is also going to auction on October 25. The custom-built land and buildings are being marketed by Bayleys North Shore. Salespeople Michael Nees, and James Kidd said the property consisted of 522 square metres of buildings on 474 square metres of freehold land.

Mr Kidd said this property was more targeted at apartment owner-occupiers looking for an additional commercial property holding, or investors seeking passive rental from a split-use commercial and residential premises.

Appearance medicine and personal wellbeing clinic Elements Medi-Spa & Beauty occupies the street level and first floor of 292 square metres – on a new five-year lease running through until 2022 with a further five-year right of renewal generating annual rental of $122,304 +GST. Elements has been operating its business activities out of the locations for 13 years

Upstairs is a 230 square metre three-bedroom apartment which will be vacated when the property sells. The site comes with 13 car parks – six of which are undercover and secure through a gated access entered from the rear of the premises Three of the car parks are allocated to the residential dwelling.

The apartment contains three bathrooms and a balcony, and is accessible by an internal lift from the basement car parking. Hinemoa Street links the upmarket residential areas of Birkenhead and Northcote Points with Birkenhead’s central business hub.

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