The opportunity to purchase and develop a prime site in Whangarei’s central business district is on offer with the sale of a 1022sq m site at 41-47 James St, currently used for car parking.
The property is the only freehold CBD development site to be marketed in recent years for public sale, and is offered through exclusive agents Colliers International on behalf of Whangarei District Council.
Colliers agents David Beattie and Peter Peeters are seeking expressions of interest by 4pm on October 26. With Whangarei District Council (WDC) encouraging development within the central business district, it is an ideal time for a developer to purchase the site, Beattie says.
“The council is looking to better integrate the CBD with the attractive waterfront and yacht marina area known as the Town Basin. The James St car park is located in the downtown area where WDC would most like to see development occur to better link the city with the Town Basin,” he says.
“Development sites within Whangarei CBD are rarely marketed for sale and we anticipate that this site will be keenly sought after by developers looking to enhance this part of the city with a new retail, hospitality or commercial facility.”
The site is held in four titles and has a substantial frontage to James St as well as further access from a rear service lane. WDC currently operates the site as a 36-space uncovered car park, Peeters says. “This provides the potential to retain a holding income while the purchaser completes their development plans.”
The property is zoned Business 1, which allows for a range of activities including mixed-use, with potential permitted development of up 21m or five stories. “The site would suit a development which incorporates a mix of retail, office and car parking,” says Peeters.
The site is in Whangarei’s core office precinct with surrounding properties including the Westpac building, Spire Accountants and Gilmore Brown buildings.
Despite challenging economic conditions in Northland, WDC’s recent focus on investing in infrastructure is beginning to pay dividends, Beattie says.
“We are seeing encouraging development activity within the city. This is most notable with the extension of Porowini Avenue to Okara Drive, which has created a new arterial route into the city. This was completed along with Toll Stadium, the new Northland Events Centre in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.”
Adjacent development has already included a Mega Mitre 10 and a Pacific Ford dealership. Colliers International also has a 1.53ha site in Porowini Avenue, owned by WDC, under contract to a developer for a proposed 8,000sq m retail centre, which has attracted “substantial tenant interest”, says Beattie.
In addition, the construction of a $29 million second harbour crossing is already underway, in the form of a bridge over the Hatea River, a key part of Whangarei’s transport strategy which will ease peak hour traffic congestion into the CBD as well as providing increased public amenity value.
WDC is committed to creating an attractive city, and has already initiated a significant redevelopment of the Town Basin, Peeters says.
“This includes a covered market and events on Victoria Canopy Bridge, a new information centre which acts as a local tourism hub and is home to Whangarei Art Museum, as well as a sculpture walk and heritage trail.”
Further developments in progress include a 4.5km loop walkway connecting the Town Basin, Pohe Island and Upper Port Rd centres . The council is also supporting the proposed conversion of the former Regional Council Building into an art centre designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
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