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Sacred space with secular potential

The sale of a sizeable city fringe site and one of New Zealand’s most beautiful church buildings offers a chance to repurpose or redevelop the land for residential use.

Positioned on a prominent corner at 4A-4B Birdwood Crescent, Knox Presbyterian Church has been a gathering point for worshippers in the heart of prestigious Parnell since the late 19th century.

Bayleys salesperson Mike Adams says the property is now surplus to the requirements of the Presbyterian Church, and the 1,910sq m (more or less) freehold site comprising four lots and dual street access is being offered to new owners with vacant possession.

“The desirable site could benefit from redevelopment to maximise its Residential – Terraced Housing and Apartment Buildings zoning, which permits the greatest density, height and scale of all Auckland’s residential zones.

“Whilst respecting viewshaft overlays, a new purchaser would naturally preserve the church’s exterior, which is timber weatherboard and a rich combination of heritage features protected by a Category B heritage overlay.

“The adjoining Sunday School Hall, however does not feature the same heritage classification, presenting an opportunity for repurpose or partial redevelopment with a certificate of compliance to demolish the building available.

“Alternatively, an opportunity exists to subdivide the land into two new titles, to create separate parcels of land, one occupied by the church and the other being the residual Sunday School land (subject to a new title being issued),” he says.

Mr Adams is marketing the property with colleagues Gerald Rundle and Jean-Paul Smit for sale by tender closing at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, 29th November 2023 (unless sold prior).

Associated with the long-standing worship and community work conducted by the Presbyterian Church, the site is currently occupied by various buildings, which include the church, a Sunday School Hall and an ancillary building.

“Knox Church was originally founded in 1842 and built circa 1899 – making it one of the oldest Presbyterian congregations in New Zealand. Various modifications have seen it develop over the years, and it is renowned for being a fine example of Gothic Revival Architecture,” says Bayleys salesperson Gerald Rundle.

“The 275sq m (more or less) church building is made of local volcanic stone and showcases intricate stonework and stained-glass windows, with a deserving reputation as one of the country’s most beautiful churches,” he says.

The property is positioned immediate to motorway interchanges, ready access to public transport services, and easy walking distance of the Newmarket rail station.

Bayleys salesperson Jean-Paul Smit says Parnell is arguably Auckland’s most distinguished suburb, known for its charming village, heritage buildings, and proximity to the Central Business District and waterfront precinct.

“The location also provides favourable zoning for several schools, including Parnell School, Auckland Grammar and Epsom Girls Grammar, which attracts high demand for residential accommodation.

“The property’s unique characteristics provide purchasers with a range of options for acquiring and using the significant landholding, particularly given its location in one of the city’s most aspirational neighbourhoods,” he says.

Click here for more information on the listing.

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