Auckland’s northwest is a ‘hot spot’

5:00 AM Saturday March 11, 2017 Colin Taylor

An aerial view of Hobsonville which is a property development ‘hot spot’. Photo / Supplied

Much of Auckland’s future business and residential growth will take place northwest of the city, says Gerald Rundle, manager-corporate projects for Bayleys Real Estate.

Rundle says Bayleys has been involved in over $200 million worth of land sales in and around Hobsonville and Westgate and such a rapid take up of land means there is now only a limited supply of large sites still available for development in those areas.

“Between Hobsonville and Westgate is one of New Zealand’s busiest development hot spots with hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of commercial and residential development underway or in the planning stages,” he says.

“Unlike many other parts of Auckland which are fully developed, the northwest has a good supply of greenfields land already zoned for commercial, retail, industrial and residential development and has attracted a substantial amount of development interest as a consequence.

“The northwest is also well serviced by motorway links which will be enhanced further with the imminent opening of the Western Ring Route that will provide a more direct connection with Auckland airport, Manukau and other southern parts of Auckland.”

Rundle says most of the current development is focused on greenfields land from Hobsonville to Westgate where two massive master planned developments are taking shape:  Hobsonville Point and the new Westgate Town Centre. 

“Between these two projects lies the Hobsonville Corridor where a further 80ha of greenfields land is being developed mainly for business use but also including a village centre with retail and residential components,” says Rundle

“Together these projects will encompass about 435ha of land with Auckland Council contributing around $325 million in infrastructure support. They are the first stage of a three-stage Northern Strategic Growth Area transformation programme incorporating 1572ha of land from Massey to Whenuapai and Hobsonville.”

At Hobsonville Point, a $3 billion redevelopment of the former Hobsonville air base is rapidly taking shape. Located on a 167ha site on a panoramic peninsula that juts into the upper Waitemata Harbour, a staged development that began building homes in 2011 has another five to seven years to complete, depending on market demand which is currently very strong, says Rundle. 

The project will encompass up to 4500 residences, a retirement village and the commercial, community, educational and recreational amenities required to support a population of upwards of 11,000. 

The master planning and development of Hobsonville Point is being overseen by Hobsonville Land Company Ltd, a government owned entity formed specifically to run the project as part of the government’s aim to increase the supply of quality medium density housing in Auckland. 

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The area purchased by Avanda Group in the Airfields precinct – identified by a red border. Photo / Supplied

Rundle says Bayleys has sold four development blocks of land at Hobsonville Point, with a fifth under contract, for residential and commercial development, totalling over 18ha. Four of these sales have been for Hobsonville Land Company, with the fifth and most recent transaction being a 9.915ha Auckland Council-owned site purchased by Avanda Group.

Avanda and its building partners will construct more than 500 homes in this land located within The Airfields precinct.

Roger MacDonald, chief executive of Panuku Development Auckland, which is managing the development of the council site, says Avanda was chosen after a competitive tender process, with strong interest received from six potential developers. The tender was managed by Bayleys Real Estate through Rundle, managing director Mike Bayley and international sales director James Chan.

“Avanda is a significant new entrant in the property development market and it showed commitment to developing all of Stage Two, rather than just individual parcels that were offered to the market,” MacDonald says.

Avanda Group’s largest current project is a master-planned housing development in New Lynn on the 11.27ha former Crown Lynn site. Called West Edge, it has been designated a Special Housing Area and dwellings will range from terraced houses to low rise and high rise apartments with some retail spaces. These will be developed in stages with 1800-2000 units ultimately planned at an estimated development value of $3 billion.

Avanda project manager Winson Tan says detailed design has commenced on its Hobsonville Point project to obtain the necessary resource consents for infrastructure works so that housing can be developed.

“Auckland’s housing shortage is well known and we are pleased to have the opportunity to help meet this challenge in delivering a range of high quality housing options in this rapidly expanding and sought-after community.”

The land purchased by Avanda is part of a 20ha Auckland Council owned site. A minimum of 890 new homes will be developed on the land and there is also provision for a Mixed Use zone which may include commercial premises.

Bayleys has also sold two other nearby land holdings outside of Hobsonville Point, one a 2.1872ha site in Hobsonville Rd, with resource consent for 130 terraced houses, the other a 27ha site in Fred Thomas Drive adjoining Westgate Town Centre, with a mix of high density residential, mixed use and light industry zonings.

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Gerald Rundle, Bayleys Real Estate