Kingsland’s old fire station is one to sleep on

5:00 AM Wednesday February 24, 2016 Colin Taylor

An elevated view of the orange-roofed former Kingsland fire station showing its closeness to Eden Park.

An Auckland city fringe character building which once served as the Kingsland fire station is now for sale following its conversion into an 18 bedroom boarding house.

“The three level building is in an excellent location very close to Auckland’s rugby mecca of Eden Park which is New Zealand's largest sporting stadium,” says Cam Paterson of Barfoot & Thompson Commercial who is marketing 516 New North Rd for sale by tender closing at 3 pm on Thursday March 3 at the agency’s 50 Kitchener St, Auckland central office.

According to Kingsland Heritage, the brick fire station was built in a Georgian Revival style in 1933 to replace an original timber station with a watch tower that was erected in 1906.

Paterson says the 450 sq m building on a 496 sq m freehold site was completely renovated after a fire in 2008 and it is not a heritage listed building.  “That renovation included replacement of the roof and rafters, upgrading the electrical system, new plumbing, gib plasterboarding, new doors and painting throughout resulting in an attractive and modernised building.”

In addition to the 18 accommodation rooms, the property has a large common lounge area, two kitchens and bathroom facilities on each level and comes with five car parks.

The construction comprises pile foundations, concrete and timber flooring and triple brick exterior walls with a rendered plaster wall cladding. The roofing is clay tile and corrugated iron while timber joinery has been used for the windows and doors. Interior linings are plaster board and timber.

Paterson says the property, which has 15 metre frontage to the busy arterial New North Road, has an estimated gross income potential of $208,954 annually as an 18 bedroom consented boarding house. The rooms are of varying sizes and generate different returns based on their sizes and outlooks including views of Eden Park. The room charges range from $300 per week for a double room to $200 per week for a smaller single room.

“The rates are very reasonable resulting in a very high occupancy rate,” says Paterson.

“Due to Auckland’s chronic housing shortage, accommodation is in strong demand with this property already producing a reliable income from multiple sources for a new purchaser and the income set to increase as demand grows due to other boarding facilities making way for larger scale developments,” he says.

The site is almost regular in shape falling to the south to provide an outlook over Eden Park and Mt Eden. The property is zoned Residential 7A in the current operation council plan allowing for one household per 200 sq m of land area with a maximum building height of 10 metres and 35 per cent building site coverage and a minimum subdivision size of 400 sq m. However a zoning of Mixed Housing Urban under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan will permit a 10 metre maximum height with 40 per cent building coverage and a minimum subdivision size of 300 sq m.  

True Commercial - 516 New North Rd%2c Kingsland.jpg

Street level view of the character property for sale at 516 New North Rd. 

Paterson says the property could be converted to a home and income type use, “or it could be developed as an upscale boutique hotel in the future in view of its strategic position”. 

The property is on the southern side of New North Road, just to the west of Kingsland Village which has become a vibrant strip retail precinct in recent years. Kingsland’s convenient city fringe location along with its diverse range of retail, cafes, bars and restaurants have attracted strong patronage and made it a popular suburb with city professionals. “There is rarely any retail vacancy in this immediate location.” 

Kingsland’s history is also an attraction for its residents and visitors. It was established in the 1880s with the sale of allotment and buildings that predominantly date from the Edwardian and the inter World Wars periods. Kingsland has a heritage trail that features interesting buildings including the old fire station with sites of interest identified by plaques that uses smartphone technology to provide information on the local history.

Paterson says the village is just a five to seven minute drive to Auckland's CDB via New North Rd and the Kingsland rail station offers commuters quick access to the Britomart transport centre in downtown Auckland. “This station is on the western line and will offer improved connectivity to other railway routes following the completion of the planned rail infrastructure spending in the central city.  The suburb itself has many apartment developments planned and underway that will advance the retail strip and public offerings further.

 “New North Rd has regular bus services to the north and south while the on-ramps for the both the State Highway One north-south motorway and State Highway 16 northwestern motorway are a short distance away.”

Nearby secondary schools include Mt Albert Grammar, Marist College and St Peter’s College.

Cam Paterson, of Barfoot & Thompson Commercial.jpg

Cam Paterson, Barfoot & Thompson Commercial.