Central Park development site on the market

High-profile development site in Auckland's Southern Corridor for sale

A substantial, high-profile development site within Auckland’s premium Central Park business precinct has been put up for sale.

Located at the heart of Auckland’s Southern Corridor, the business park in Greenlane was purchased last year by Oyster Property Group in a joint venture with global investment firm KKR.

The $209 million transaction, brokered by Colliers International’s Capital Markets team, was the single largest metropolitan office deal in Auckland to date.

The Oyster/KKR joint venture has now appointed Colliers to market 1.35ha of surplus land at the northern boundary of the 6.2ha site.

The land, currently used for on-grade parking, is no longer required as Oyster/KKR focuses on the active management of Central Park’s office assets.

Richard Kirke, International Director of Capital Markets at Colliers, sees it as a superb opportunity for developers, investors and land bankers to acquire a strategic freehold site with significant potential.

“This property provides abundant options with generous zoning, significant holding income and profile to New Zealand’s busiest stretch of road.

“The site has 285m of frontage to the Southern Motorway, which offers exposure to an average of 200,000 passing vehicles a day.

“It is also well-served by public transport, with regular buses along Great South Road and trains every 10 minutes at peak times via Ellerslie Train Station, only two minutes’ walk away.

“Business Park zoning allows for substantial development flexibility, along with potential for alternative uses if a new purchaser wishes to pursue a zone change.”

The 1.35ha freehold property for sale – to be titled as Lot 15, 660 Great South Road, Greenlane – is for sale by way of offers closing at 4pm on Wednesday 10 April, unless it is sold earlier.

Kirke says it is an opportunity for purchasers to leverage off the success of the wider Central Park business precinct.

“Central Park is a premium corporate office precinct that accommodates more than 60 businesses and 2,100 employees across 11 buildings, spanning a total area of 44,000sq m.

“Key tenants include Genesis Energy, Restaurant Brands, Mars, Toshiba, George Weston Foods, the Bunnings head office and Salmat.”

Gareth Fraser, Auckland Director of Investment Sales at Colliers, says Central Park offers excellent accessibility.

“Traffic lights at the entrance provide easy access to the Auckland motorway network, via the nearby Ellerslie interchange.

“The precinct is only a seven-minute drive to Sylvia Park, a 10-minute drive to Auckland CBD and a 20-minute drive to Auckland International Airport.”

Fraser says Central Park also offers extensive amenities, including an on-site childcare centre, cafe and convenience food retailers.

Since Oyster took over management in July 2018, an additional 9,000sq m of space has been leased.

In addition, Oyster is currently investing in an extensive improvement programme to revitalise the business park.

“The precinct will become more accessible with co-working space to be added, new landscaping and footpaths, pedestrian-oriented shared spaces, enhanced signage, end of trip facilities and electric vehicle chargers,” Fraser says.

“It will also become more of a social space, with on-site group fitness and yoga classes, and the establishment of a new activation space to accommodate pop-ups, barbeques and other events.

“The existing retail offerings will also be complemented by a new Chinese (yum cha) restaurant and food trucks.”

Peter Herdson, National Director of Capital Markets at Colliers, says the site’s Business Park zoning allows for intensive office development as well as some ancillary services such as gyms and retail.

“There is strong tenant demand for office space in Auckland but a shortage of supply, especially as the vacancy rates in both the CBD and metropolitan areas like Greenlane remain at historical lows.

“Net supply is static as the development pipeline keeps pace with ongoing stock reductions from refurbishments and conversions.”

Colliers International research shows that of the 1.7 million square metres of metropolitan office space across Auckland, only 114,000sq m is available – a vacancy rate of just 6.7 per cent, well below the two-decade average of 8.5 per cent.

Herdson says less of a fifth of that vacant space is in prime office developments.

“With high demand and low vacancy, tenants will likely face higher rent rises over the next few years, of between 3 to 4 per cent per annum.

“There will be greater total returns from higher rents and firming yields in a bullish investment environment spurred on by low interest rates and strong offshore investor interest.

“These conditions make it an ideal time to embark on a new office development in Greenlane.”

Herdson says there could also be scope for a purchaser to apply for a zone change to allow for a medium-density residential development on the site.

“The land’s proximity to transport and significant amenity, including the Ellerslie town centre, makes it ideal for pushing out the envelope of the existing Ellerslie residential area.”

Herdson says Auckland’s median residential sale price has entered a more stable and controlled period of growth over the past 18 months.

“However, there is still an imbalance between demand and supply, especially for metropolitan Auckland developments close to transport options, good schooling, hospitals, airports and employment hubs.

“The site for sale ticks all of these boxes.”

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The Waikato forest, Tregoweth, is located on 347ha just south of Te Kuiti in the King Country. It is easily accessible from Waimiha Road, which bisects the forest some 200m from State Highway 30.

“The King Country is well known for producing large trees and Tregoweth Forest, which is planted solely with radiata pine, is no exception,” says Searle.

“The crop mostly comprises older first-rotation stands, with a smaller area of mid-rotation stands.”

The Waikato forest, Tregoweth, is located on 347ha just south of Te Kuiti in the King Country. It is easily accessible from Waimiha Road, which bisects the forest some 200m from State Highway 30.

“The King Country is well known for producing large trees and Tregoweth Forest, which is planted solely with radiata pine, is no exception,” says Searle.

“The crop mostly comprises older first-rotation stands, with a smaller area of mid-rotation stands.”

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