West Harbour site ripe for development

1:58 PM Friday October 27, 2017 True Commercial

A large house at right is included in sale of the 4.0486ha property at 82 Hobsonville Rd. Photo / Supplied

A 4ha site for sale at West Harbour is described by brokers as ‘a major greenfield development opportunity in one of Auckland’s most rapidly developing areas’.

CBRE agents Deborah Dowling, Brad Visser and Wyatt Johnston are selling the 4.0486ha lot on behalf of a Greek Cypriot family who have held it for 27 years. It will be sold by deadline private treaty, closing November 28, unless it sells earlier by negotiation.

Visser says the property at 82 Hobsonville Rd could be the last large developable site with Residential zoning along the Hobsonville Corridor linkling Westgate and Hobsonville Point.

“This is the first time that 82 Hobsonville Rd has come up for sale in nearly three decades,” says Visser.

“When it was last purchased — by the Panayiodou family, who built their dream house here — the area was more or less farmland. Since then the massive changes, including the recent rezoning of land all along the Hobsonville Corridor, are leading them now to sell. They’re sad but ready to go.”

The property is likely to interest developers, group home builders and land bankers, says Visser, pointing out that it is a development opportunity in one of the focus areas under the Government’s $1b Infrastructure Fund. “And few of these remain.”

Visser believes the development of 82 Hobsonville Rd will “build upon the stellar success of neighbouring Hobsonville Point and Westgate.

“Momentum has been building in this part of Auckland for a number of years, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent. A similar road-front land parcel like this can’t be picked up along the Hobsonville Corridor.

“Furthermore, the site is earmarked for high density development under the Whenuapai Plan Change, and a draft architectural scheme has been drawn-up that could deliver 128 lots. So with infrastructure due to go in soon, the site provides the purchaser with the ability to move reasonably quickly.”

Mixed housing urban

The property comprises a rectangular on a single freehold title, plus a large (613sq m) house.

Dowling says it is zoned Future Urban under the Unitary Plan, which is applied to greenfield land identified as suitable for urbanisation.

By way of background, she says, the council undertook a structure planning exercise under The Whenuapai Structure Plan last year, identifying areas of residential and business land.

Stage 1A to 1E in the Whenuapai Structure Plan area is in the Future Urban Land Supply Strategy as being development-ready between 2018 and 2022.

“As it happens, 82 Hobsonville Rd comes within Stage 1A, and hence will be within the first stage to be taken forward.”

A council-initiated plan change was notified on September 21, to re-zone about 360ha of mostly Future Urban-zoned land — including 82 Hobsonville Rd — to a mix of business and residential zones, submissions having closed on October 19.

“Under the plan change, the subject site proposed zoning is Residential – Mixed Housing Urban,” Dowling says.

“This envisages a relatively high-intensity residential zone with development typically up to three-storey, including detached dwellings, terraced houses and low-rise apartments.

“And there’s a bonus; this property will be in the first tranche of the $300m infrastructure spend that Auckland Council is set to put into the area, funded through the Government's $1b Housing Infrastructure Fund announced last year.

“So services will be well on their way to meet the needs of any development on the property.”

A preliminary design concept has been created for the site, using the zoning rules proposed under the draft plan change, says Dowling.

“The concept could lead to 128 lots, subject to council consent. The design has not pushed density to the limit, and the plan also shows a through road and planned green space.”

In a slightly elevated position near the top of a rise along Hobsonville Road, the property has 180 degree views that include the inner harbour, says Johnston.

“It offers an unusually wide road frontage on the Hobsonville Corridor.

“The 56ha Westgate town centre with its many shops and amenities, is three-minute drive to the west. The area is developing rapidly, with street-based retail, as well as commercial and dining experiences designed to populate and activate a new town square and main street precinct.

“Six hectares of public open space are included in the master plan for the area, including parks and walkways, plus a new 3500sq m library featuring a children’s reading and storytelling ‘cocoon’ space that is under construction right now.”

To the east lies Hobsonville town centre and the phenomenally successful Hobsonville Point, which is attracting thousands of people thanks to its scale and high quality approach, says Johnston.