Rare city fringe industrial in Morningside

Sought-after city fringe warehouse at 34 Ethel Street for sale

A rare light industrial property in the tightly held Auckland city fringe suburb of Morningside is on the market with vacant possession.

A rare light industrial property in the tightly held Auckland city fringe suburb of Morningside is on the market with vacant possession.

Colliers International has been exclusively appointed to market 34 Ethel Street for sale by auction at 11am on Wednesday, 8 November.

Investment Sales Associate Director Jonathan Lynch, who specialises in city fringe property, says this is a superb opportunity to secure a sought-after industrial asset in an area with almost no commercial vacancies.

“Mixed Use properties in Morningside are very tightly held,” he says.

“The area has been traditionally occupied by small-scale light industrial users and service retailers. However, Mixed Use zoning has encouraged owners and tenants to transition towards a more diverse range of uses.

“Showroom retailers, cafes, offices and residential are all becoming more and more common.”

Lynch says the 658sq m freehold property boasts about 562sq m of warehouse and office space.

It is one of three similar buildings within a 1,976sq m strata-titled development. 

“The property is being sold with vacant possession, making it ideal for owner-occupiers, or add-value investors,” Lynch says.

“The medium-stud, clear-span warehouse has a pitched roof and provides about 437sq m of space that is currently being used for storage. 

“The property also offers some 125sq m of partitioned offices and amenities, and sealed off-street car parking, including five covered and two open parks.

“This city fringe warehouse is ideal as is, but also has amazing potential given the multitude of possible uses that are permitted under the Auckland Unitary Plan.”

Built in the 1970s, the property has a seismic rating of 70 per cent of the new building standard.

Lynch says the warehouse is accessed via a high-stud single metal roller door at the front. 

“Additional natural light is provided through translucent panels in the roof.”

The large open-plan office area is accessed via a stairwell at the front of the building.

“It includes a reception desk, meeting rooms, and a staff room with kitchen facilities,” Lynch says.

“The fit-out includes carpeted flooring, plasterboard walls and a textured plaster ceiling. It benefits from good natural light via windows to all three external walls.”

Colliers International Investment Sales Broker Kris Ongley, who also specialises in city fringe property, says the Ethel Street offering would suit a wide range of occupants.

“The number of city fringe warehouses is declining – not only in Morningside, but other areas too – as more and more properties are put to higher and better uses,” he says.

“This means there is significant potential to increase income.”

Ongley says the surrounding activity is a mix of light industrial, showroom retail, office and residential apartment development.

“Morningside is fast becoming Auckland CBD’s ‘go-to’ suburb for keen industrial users who are trying to avoid the squeeze to the suburbs further afield such as Penrose and Rosebank Road, whilst also taking advantage of a zoning initiative under the new Unitary Plan.”

The property’s flexible Business Mixed Use zoning allows for office, retail, residential and light industrial development up to 18m in height.

“The zone provides for residential activity as well as predominantly smaller scale commercial activity that does not cumulatively affect the function, role and amenity of centres.”

The zone does not specifically require a mix of uses on individual sites or within areas.

Ongley says fringe industrial properties are highly sought after for a range of uses, including textiles, automotive servicing, and warehousing.

“However, there is not enough supply to satisfy pent up demand. We’re also seeing new demand from occupiers who traditionally would have ignored industrial properties.”

Ongley says strong bidding at auction is expected.

“We’re anticipating interest from savvy owner-occupiers and add-value investors who appreciate just how rare opportunities like this are.”

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