Onehunga warehouses have plans for apartment complex

5:00 AM Saturday October 17, 2015 Colin Taylor

Onehunga warehouses have plans for apartment complex

A fully leased, Onehunga light industrial warehouse complex, which has been future-proofed by its inclusion as a Special Housing Area, is up for sale for the first time in more than a decade.

The property at 23 to 29 Church St and 20 & 22 George Terrace is for sale by tender, with tenders closing Wednesday November 11.

Marketed by Henry Thompson and Kathy Ying of Whillans Realty Group, the property is leased to four tenants, and returning a net annual rental income of $206,405. 

The complex has a current net lettable area of 3658 sq m encompassing a mix of four warehouse, office and showroom buildings and 27 car parks. The buildings were constructed between 1965 and 1975 and Thompson says they could be reconfigured by an owner occupier.

Onehunga remains one of the most popular precincts for small to medium sized light industrial users because of its ease of access to the Auckland CBD, the airport and having a large labour pool.

Thompson says an important point of interest is the recent re-zoning of the property to the favourable Mixed Use zone under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP).

He says that under the provisions of the Auckland Housing Accord, any application under a SHA (Special Housing Area) will be considered in accordance with the provisions of the property’s PAUP Mixed Use zone.

“Through this fast-tracked process, the property will have a variety of different development options ranging from business and commercial uses through to residential development,” Thompson says.

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Elevated view depicting the Onehunga warehouse complex within its setting. 

The 5570 sq m corner site is held in three contiguous freehold titles which have two road frontages and is located close to the main retail and commercial centre of Onehunga.

“It would be ideal for a large apartment block with ground floor retail or office space if a new owner wanted to redevelop the site,” Thompson says.

“Two of the leases have demolition clauses in place while the remaining two leases are on short term monthly arrangements allowing developers to commence construction quickly,” he says.

“The vendor has already commissioned an indicative concept scheme plan which is available to the purchaser. It includes 157 sq m of ground floor retail space, 148 semi-basement secure car parks and 238 residential units. Under the plan the residential apartments will either have views overlooking the Onehunga Bay Reserve or a sunny northerly aspect.”

Thompson says the potential to turn the property into a seven level residential apartment block, with retail and office space at ground level, is likely to appeal given that it is less than 500 metres from the Onehunga Village, 700 metres from the Onehunga train station and within one kilometre of three local schools.

Daniel Milmine, analyst for Whillans Realty Group says Onehunga has become increasingly popular as a residential suburb in recent years and will have even more appeal with Auckland City Council and NZ Transport Agency close to completing a $28 million Onehunga Bay restoration.

“This will breathe new life into the suburb,” Milmine says.

“The project includes the construction of several new beaches, extensive parkland, walkways and a pedestrian bridge re-linking Onehunga with the Manukau Harbour and Onehunga Bay. 

Standalone homes in the area sell for between $700,000 and $900,000 with renovated villas achieving prices of $900,000 and upwards.”

Thompson adds that Auckland is forecast to grow by an additional 500,000 people over the next 15 years, bringing the city’s total population to two million people.

“To put this figure into perspective, Auckland will essentially grow by the current size of metropolitan Wellington.”

Milmine says Auckland is one of the fastest growing cities in Australasia, and is experiencing a huge demand for new housing, with the current supply barely keeping pace with the record inflow of net migration, let alone the natural rate of growth. Part of this problem is the lack of available development land.

“Opinions on the exact number of new homes needed to meet the existing shortfall vary. However, it is clear that the migration growth we are seeing will underpin the success of residential development projects in Auckland.”

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Daniel Milmine (left) and Henry Thompson (right), of Whillans Realty Group.