Big and rare Albany land block for sale

4:17 PM Friday September 8, 2017 Colin Taylor

The vacant Oracle Drive and Corinthian Drive rectangular land block for sale in Albany roughly encompasses the greenfield and grey areas fronting the white buildings. Photo / Supplied

A big gateway commercial site of nearly 1.6ha that is likely to attract a wide range of prospective buyers is for sale on the edge of Albany’s business circle on Auckland’s North Shore.

“This property offers significant scale and flexibility in one of the fastest growing business districts in Auckland,” says Claus Brewer, national director CBRE who, with colleague John Bedford, is marketing the Oracle Drive and Corinthian Drive property for sale by public tender closing at 4pm on Thursday, October 12.

Encompassing a total area of 15,794sq m, the property is split into four separate freehold titles but is being offered for sale as a single block.  The addresses encompassed are 3 Oracle Drive, 4744sq m; 5 Oracle Drive, 3620sq m; 7 Oracle Drive, 3409sq m; and 22 Corinthian Drive, 4021sq m.

Brewer says industrial vacant land sales in Albany have been ‘subdued’ in the past few years due to limited availability, so a property of this scale and location is expected to attract strong interest.

“Since the beginning of 2014 there have only been six sales of vacant industrial parcels in the $5m plus market in Albany. The scarcity of vacant industrial land in the area is underpinned by the fact that there are only five such parcels in the suburb that are larger than 1ha and we don’t believe any are currently on the market.

“To further illustrate the tightness of the market, at the end of 2016 there was not one Grade A quality building larger than 5000sqm vacant and available for lease.

“With this in mind and with no clear plans to develop or rezone more business zoned land in Albany in the near future based on Auckland Unitary Plan research, demand for sites with the potential of the Oracle Drive site has never been greater.

“For businesses or investors looking to secure a strategic site at a time when there is a real squeeze on supply of developable sites in Albany, the Oracle Drive property is ideal.”

Brewer says that the site is expected to appeal to developers, data centre operators, owner occupiers and investors.

“Sitting on the southern slopes of Orchard Park, the land looks out over the northern State Highway 1 motorway and is extremely well connected to key arterial routes and in the heart of a rapidly growing satellite business hub.

“Currently consented for use as a data centre, a robust due diligence and planning process has already been conducted, ensuring prospective purchasers can make amendments as needed and push on with future development plans.”

He says initial civil works have already been conducted on site, drainage is now in place; and geotechnical reports and other supporting reports are available as part of the detailed due diligence package.

Bedford says the property was originally part of a business park zone set up for office use. However, a former owner of the property, Goodman Property, subsequently carried out a plan change permitting uses to include light industrial, office and a small amount of retail activity.

True Commercial - Oracle Dr Corinthian Dr land block%2c Albany - aerial with yellow boundary .jpg

The Albany commercial site of nearly 1.6ha is roughly indicated by a yellow border. Photo / Supplied

“The new use is a great benefit for future purchasers as it will give them a range of options, including the retail component, to service an expanding working population in the area. There is also the added ability to on-sell titles and adjust boundaries, which provides flexibility when it comes to generating returns from the site.

“One of the real hallmarks of the site has to be its extensive 333m of road frontage allowing for multiple access options for occupiers and giving it a strong profile.”

As part of the Albany Centre Sub-Precinct D Business Park Zone, the site is strategically located in the centre of a growing commercial hub that includes Mitre 10 National Support Centre and Westpac northern head office. Neighbouring properties include PBT Couriers on the southern boundary of the site, while a residential development is planned opposite.

Brewer says it is the presence of ASB’s 10,000sq m data and disaster recovery centre C:Drive building on the doorstep to the site which highlights its value as a strong proposition.

“Purchasers can take real confidence that ASB has chosen to locate C:Drive close to the boundary of the site. Their decision to place the building there speaks volumes about the great risk profile of the land and location when it comes to seismic integrity, ease of access, flight path and emergency readiness.”

Brewer adds the site also has no shortage of amenities close by. “Westfield Albany is less than kilometre away, along with Albany Mega Centre, QBE Stadium and Massey University; and transport options for future tenants include the North Shore’s largest Park and Ride bus stations less than two kilometres away.”

Bedford says that closeness to the northern motorway allows a 20-minute drive to the Auckland CBD and ready access to transport routes north and south.

“The property offers a strong prospect as a strategic location for businesses with customer bases and supply chains across both Auckland and Northland,” he says.

“The location of the Oracle Drive site in relation to its surroundings also provides significant advantages in terms of profile and presence. Being an elevated site with a gentle slope towards Corinthian Drive, the property has a superb profile and line of sight to the motorway, providing a purchaser with a highly visible opportunity to market the property or for occupiers to promote their brands to the thousands of motorists.

“It’s also a short link to the Upper Harbour Highway, which is part of the Western Ring Route, now the longest motorway in New Zealand at 48 kilometres in length. With the Waterview tunnel having opened in July, the Ring Route provides an alternative route to State Highway 1 from Albany to Auckland airport and other major industrial suburbs in Auckland.”

“The access to a larger customer and employee catchment and improved transport connections positively impacting on freight and commute times, also make this Albany site one that North Island transportation operators should seriously consider.”

Bedford says the Albany area has seen rapid growth in the past 20 years, changing from a rural environment on the fringe of Auckland city, to a growing urbanised environment on the outer edge of the city boundaries.

Numerous residential developments are underway, including the Rose Garden Apartment complex near to QBE Stadium, previously North Harbour Stadium. In the Fairview Heights and Albany Heights areas over 3,000 residential dwellings are expected over the next five years. Further afield, an estimated 25,500-30,000 dwellings are to be constructed in the Wainui, Dairy Flat and Silverdale areas over the next 30 years.

The population growth forecasts have also translated into significant transport infrastructure investment, with $60m of works planned by Auckland Council. These include a new link road between Gills Rd and Oteha Valley Rd, a new link road between Medallion Drive and Fairview Avenue, as well as an upgrade of the Dairy Flat Highway between Stevenson Crescent and Gills Rd.

Bedford says the growth and investment in the Albany area spells good news for future occupiers and purchasers of the Oracle Drive site.