Huge commercial growth out West

5:19 PM Friday August 25, 2017 Colin Taylor

The large freehold retail property for sale at 20-30 Sel Peacock Drive, Henderson.

Commercial property transactions in West Auckland last year totalled $380.5 million with industrial sales at $198.6m comprising the biggest single commercial sector says new research.

Figures compiled by Colliers International’s Research and Consulting team reveal that retail properties in the past year accounted for the second largest commercial sales of $99m, followed by office properties at $43.6m while mixed use and vacant property sales were $39.3m.

“More than half of these sales were brokered by Colliers,” says Josh Coburn, who has been appointed the new head of the agency’s West Auckland office - along with continuing to lead the Auckland-wide site sales team.

“We have been responsible for more than $250m of commercial sales in West Auckland since 2016 – much of this growth driven by the region’s residential boom,” Coburn says.

“West Auckland is the city’s fastest growing area, with an estimated 30,000 new homes needed in the next three decades.

“Both local and central government have identified West Auckland as a key area for growth, and are investing millions in infrastructure including roads, public spaces, libraries and schools.

“As a result, we’re starting to see more and more corporate investors taking an interest in West Auckland and entrenching their positions in the market.”

Coburn says Westgate in particular has been the top area for residential development land sales for the last two years.

“The commercial sector is paying real attention. They can see Westgate is going to be a major metropolitan centre with everything on offer – its own mall, library, bulk retail, offices and industries.

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Australasian clothing company AS Colour’s head office and distribution facility at 84 Central Park Drive, Henderson. Photo / Supplied

“That has translated to substantial investment interest, with land rates trending up across the board for residential, industrial and commercial.

“It is also fuelling extremely low vacancy rates, with the Westgate and North Massey retail vacancy rate at only 2.3 per cent.

“Industrial property is similarly in huge demand, with West Auckland’s overall industrial vacancy rate remaining below 2 per cent for the last two years.”

Coburn says West Auckland’s growth was a catalyst for the relocation of his six-strong site sales team, to Colliers’ West Auckland office this month.

“The team specialises in identifying development opportunities; including land subdivisions and apartment development and conversion sites.

“A lot of our work already takes place in West Auckland, so it makes sense for the team to be based there within the community.”

Coburn says there has been a real shift in market perception, with West Auckland properties now considered equivalent to those in the North Shore or the city fringe in terms of investment quality.

“It’s all to do with connectivity. The Upper Harbour Highway and Waterview Connection have greatly improved access to the area, and large-scale development has followed.”

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One of the largest remaining greenfield sites in Henderson, at 158-164 Central Park Drive – indicated by a blue border. Photo / Supplied

Coburn says Colliers is preparing to launch several ‘trophy property’ campaigns in the next few months, on top of its current large-scale West Auckland campaign, which includes:

  • A substantial freehold retail property at 20-30 Sel Peacock Drive, in the fast-growing suburb of Henderson. The 9640sq m split-risk retail investment offers immediate add-value potential, with long-term options for intensive residential redevelopment. The property is for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Thursday, September 14 unless it sells earlier by negotiation.
  • One of the largest remaining greenfield sites in Henderson, located at 158-164 Central Park Drive. The 3.14ha block of freehold industrial, commercial and retail development land is also for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Thursday, September 7 unless sold beforehand by negotiation.
  • Australasian clothing company AS Colour’s state-of-the-art head office and distribution facility at 84 Central Park Drive, Henderson. The 6735sq m freehold industrial investment is for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Wednesday, September 6, unless sold prior to that date by negotiation.

Charles Cooper, Auckland Managing Director, for Colliers International, says the agency’s West Auckland office is the first and only dedicated commercial property office located in the area.

He says Coburn’s West Auckland team will be strengthened by the inclusions of site sales brokers Sean Finnegan and Craig Smith, who previously worked at Colliers’ West Auckland office.

“Sean and Craig know the West inside out; and Coburn brings more than 14 years of property experience to the role,” Cooper says. “Since his property career began with us in 2003 he has transacted more than $700m in commercial property.

“Coburn gained crucial West Auckland experience while based at Colliers’ North Shore office, which covered northern and north-western Auckland before the dedicated West Auckland office opened last year.

“He also spent four years at Haydn & Rollett Construction, where he focused on the development of commercial and industrial property joint ventures, as well as commercial-scale residential opportunities.”

Coburn returned to Colliers in 2015 to establish the site sales team.