Auckland waterfront opportunity unbeatable

A large and prominent Auckland CBD site, formerly occupied by a Caltex service station on Fanshawe St in the Wynyard Quarter and opposite Victoria Park, is on the market.

“This sale represents an outstanding development opportunity at the heart of Auckland’s waterfront area,” says Peter Herdson, national director of capital markets for Colliers International.

Herdson and colleague John Green, are marketing the 3879sq m site at 155-167 Fanshawe St for sale by deadline private treaty with offers closing on October 12 unless the property is sold earlier by negotiation.

“This unencumbered freehold site is one of the best property offerings currently available nationwide,” Herdson says. “It’s a prime landholding opportunity and we are targeting offshore investors.

“It is strategically located in Auckland’s vibrant and fast-expanding Wynyard Quarter, which incorporates some of the best mixed-use waterfront land of any major city in New Zealand.”  

Green says the site is within a close walking distance to North Wharf, Viaduct Harbour, Westhaven, Victoria Park, neighbourhood restaurants, bars, cafes and the Auckland CBD.

“It has excellent access to all the motorway systems via Fanshawe St, Union St and Hobson St and is well served by public transport with buses regularly travelling in both directions along Fanshawe St. The Britomart railway station and ferry terminal are also close at hand,” Green says.

“It’s in a superb position with an extensive frontage to Fanshawe Street, one of Auckland’s busiest arterial roads.”

Herdson says the site comes with vacant possession. A nominal short-term holding income on a monthly roll-over basis from a retail outlet and car wash keeps it flexible for future development.

“It’s location in Wynyard Quarter along with big corporates like ASB Bank, Fonterra and Datacom is indicative of its promised potential. Goodman has also just announced that Auckland Transport has signed up to a nine-year lease of the VXV20 building – opposite Fonterra on the corner of Fanshawe and Halsey Streets – which will be extensively refurbishment after Vodafone vacates next year.”

The Wynyard Quarter is prominently located to the west of the Auckland CBD and is undergoing a significant transformation from an industrial hub to a high quality Mixed Use area featuring numerous restaurants and cafes. Renovation of several other major corporate office buildings is also underway.

Herdson notes the Beijing-based property developer, Fu Wah International Group, has commenced construction upon the old Team New Zealand site for Park Hyatt, where a new seven-level, 195 room, five-star luxury hotel will be completed in 2018.

Green says the Fanshawe Street site sale comes at an opportune time. “Auckland Council is supporting redevelopment of the area with targeted public investment in infrastructure and catalyst projects that will complement the commercial developments on the Auckland waterfront.

“The proposed development of the Wynyard Quarter Central Precinct is a key initiative of Panuku Development Auckland which is revitalising the city’s waterfront. Precinct Properties and Willis Bond & Co have partnered with Panuku to deliver commercial office space focused around innovation and residential living for mixed-use apartments and townhouses,” Green says.

“This project will attract investors, businesses and residents and showcase Auckland as a smart, globally relevant city.” Wynyard Central will feature new recreational spaces and activities like green pocket parks, a new network of pedestrian friendly laneways and the newly built Linear Park on Daldy St.

“This latest Fanshawe Street development opportunity spans office, retail and residential projects as it’s zoned City Centre – Wynyard Sub-Precinct A under the Auckland Unitary Plan. This zoning is at the top of the city centre’s hierarchy and will play a pivotal role in Auckland’s present and future success.

“The zone seeks to ensure the city is an international centre for business and learning, innovation, entertainment, culture and urban living,” Green says. The zone forms part of the Sub-Precinct A (southern) bounded by Fanshawe Street, Westhaven Drive, Gaunt Street and Halsey Street. This comprises a total land area of 3.6ha contained in three blocks.

Herdson says Auckland is experiencing unprecedented growth and demand for office space. “The additional space created is predominantly speculatively led and is filling up fast. More than 60 per cent of the 200 companies in New Zealand operate within Auckland which puts the situation in context..”

Green says the retail market is experiencing significant growth with only a 2.4 per cent vacancy rate in Auckland - the lowest since 2007. “Retail is also benefitting from record high immigration, strong labour conditions and a rising housing market in a low interest rate environment..

“The level of demand for retail space in Auckland CBD, the suburbs and shopping centres symbolises a healthy retail market.

“Our residential market is also experiencing the highest demand since 2007 with Auckland’s apartments benefitting from a major, but classic, demand-exceeding-supply scenario. We are seeing a structural problem of population increasing at a faster rate than dwelling supply can enter the market.

“New Zealand’s 50-year low interest rates and the lower apartment purchase prices relative to residential houses add fuel to the fire. As a result, apartment values are likely to keep appreciating despite central government and Reserve Bank controls cramping capital value growth.”

Herdson says New Zealand is ripe for investment, with positive migration and demographic profiles, supportive investment environment for foreign and local ownership, good debt-to-yield spread, a stable political regulatory environment and a benign tax structure with no capital gains tax and stamp or conveyance duty.

“The combined factors affecting these sectors are seldom presented to the market and all contribute to the strategic investment significance of this Fanshawe Street site,” Herdson says.


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