Slice of historic Henderson on the market for redevelopment

Tightly-held freehold site with abundant residential development potential 

A former orchard in Henderson that has long been a focal point for Auckland’s tight-knit Dalmatian community has been placed on the market for the first time in generations.

Over many decades, friends and family would gather under the shade of Wally Nola’s trees to enjoy his renowned hospitality and the fruit of his orchard, which was widely regarded as among the best in Henderson.

Wally passed away in November 2017, at the age of 88, and his estate is now selling the 8,098sq m property that was his home and livelihood for more than 50 years.

Colliers International brokers say the sale of 119 Bruce McLaren Road, Henderson, is a chance to secure a large, tightly-held freehold site with abundant residential development potential.

The Henderson area has long been associated with the Dalmatians, who first settled in New Zealand from Croatia in the late 1850s and established some of the earliest orchards and vineyards in West Auckland.

The Dalmatian community has played a pivotal role in growing the country’s horticulture and viticulture sectors, with West Auckland’s Babich, Delegat, Nobilo and Selak winemaking families becoming household names. Nola’s orchards were so well-known that the name Nola is synonymous with orcharding.

The youngest of three brothers, Walter Frederick Nola was born into this rich cultural milieu and continued the family tradition.

His father had extensive landholdings across Henderson, which for decades was a predominantly rural area with pockets of housing and industry.

A careful and caring man, Wally was a stickler for quality, known for his first-class fruit.

Wally sold his fruit from a shed at the front of his property, which once extended far beyond its current boundaries to Wally Nola Place, named in his honour.

He shared a modest home on the property with his wife, Ivy. The couple had no children of their own, but opened their doors warmly to friends, family and the wider Dalmatian community.

Nina Nola remembers her uncle fondly as a kind man who was like a second father to his nephews and nieces.

“Uncle Wally was a man of real integrity. His home was a warm, special place where everyone was welcome and nobody left without being happy.

“He was always extremely generous with his property. It was the site of family get-togethers and a focal point for the wider Dalmatian community, with Wally playing host to many social gatherings.”

Wally was also a pivotal figure at the Oratia Bowling Club. A past president and life member, he was a familiar face around the club for more than 45 years.

Nina says her uncle’s property is a fondly regarded part of family history, but the time is now right to unlock the land for residential redevelopment as Auckland continues to grow.

Josh Coburn, Site Sales Director at Colliers International, is marketing the property for sale with colleagues Matt Prentice and Craig Smith.

Offers by way of deadline private treaty close at 4pm on Wednesday 3 April, unless it is sold earlier.

Coburn says it is an opportunity to take advantage of the high demand for favourably-zoned residential land.

“Conveniently located 3km southwest of Lincoln Road, the property offers 68m of frontage to the northwestern side of Bruce McLaren Road in the established and popular suburb of Henderson.

“Residential Mixed Housing Urban zoning allows for reasonably intensive development of up to three storeys in height.

“The property itself is large, flat and of regular shape, with services already in place, making it a relatively straightforward redevelopment proposition.”

Prentice says the property is only 5.5km from the Lincoln Road motorway interchange, putting it within some 20 minutes’ drive from Auckland’s CBD.

“The recently opened Waterview Connection has greatly improved connectivity to West Auckland, providing an efficient route to Auckland Airport and the city’s southern suburbs.”

Prentice says Henderson is part of the Henderson-Massey Local Board, which has more than 100,000 residents.

“Henderson is home to a number of cultural, recreational and educational facilities which makes it an attractive destination for current and future residents and businesses.

“The town centre and the WestCity Waitakere shopping centre are only a short drive away from the property for sale.

“Other significant amenities nearby include the Corban Estate Arts Centre, Auckland Film Studios, Waitakere Mega Centre, West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre, and Henderson High School.”

Smith says Henderson will see further growth with Panuku Development Auckland’s plan to develop a number of council-owned sites in the area.

“The area is identified as one of the 10 metropolitan centres in the Auckland Plan that is a key business and employment hub, and therefore an area that will undergo extensive urban development over the next 30 years.”

There is also the opportunity for an urban cohousing project to be realised on the attractive site.

The road front shed on the property is not included in the sale and will be removed prior to settlement at the vendor’s cost.

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