High profile site goes to tender

By Colin Taylor

Central land used as parking space could offer buyer an ideal development prospect

Aerial view of Auckland CBD depicting 53-55 Symonds St site marked in red near the centre.
Aerial view of Auckland CBD depicting 53-55 Symonds St site marked in red near the centre.

A high-profile 1138sq m corner city development site held by its owner for more than 20 years is being offered for sale.

"It was previously occupied by the Marinoto Health Clinic but has operated as a car park during the past two decades," says Murray Tomlinson, commercial and industrial agent for Barfoot & Thompson Commercial.

He is offering the site - at 53-55 Symonds St where it intersects with Wakefield St and Airedale St - for sale by tender closing at 4pm on Wednesday, October 9.

"The property, zoned Central Area, Strategic Management Area 5, is made up of two separate freehold certificates of title and occupies a wonderfully prominent position on the southern side of Airedale and Symonds Sts," Tomlinson says.

"There are no existing buildings and present consented use is for car parking and billboard signage.

"With road boundaries to about 180 degrees from south through east to north it has been viewed by many people in the market over the years as an ideal development prospect."

Tomlinson says the site generates rental income of $124,888 plus GST and gross of rates from leases to Wilson Parking of three plus three years from February 2012; and to Isite Media for five years from August 2013. Both lease agreements contain six-month termination redevelopment clauses.

"While correctly described as being located on the corner of Symonds and Airedale Sts, the property also sits at the point where Wakefield Street joins the other two," Tomlinson says.

"Whether travelling north or south on Symonds St, the property has particularly high exposure and very good street presence. It generally lies to the north and, due to the roading network, cannot be built out from the southern aspect through to the east and the north."

Two small parks with specimen trees are immediately to the north bounding both sides of the top end of Wakefield St.

To the northwest boundary is the ARA Masonic lodge car park and lodge rooms.

The environs to the south and uphill comprise commercial high-rise office towers, and the Langham Hotel is one block to the south on Symonds St.

Symonds St motorway onramp to State Highway 1 is just 250m away and Queen St is 550m down Wakefield St.

"Of most significance to this property is its closeness to the central campus area of the University of Auckland which is around 500m away directly down Symonds St," Tomlinson says. "In addition, the AUT campus is about 400m down Wakefield St."

He says the Strategic Management Area (SMA) zoning forms the basis for establishing and implementing environmental protection and enhancement measures that apply to area.

"Stated objectives include providing an environment in the eastern SMA that accommodates a range of activities with an emphasis on education, residential and non-permanent accommodation commercial enterprise, tourism, entertainment and culture while managing the adverse effects of activities on each other, on the public spaces and on the sustainability of the remainder of the Central Area.

"The zoning seeks to provide an urban form and scale of development which retains the existing quality of the public spaces and pedestrian linkages in the Eastern Strategic Management Area with development controls including a general height limit of 50m, a basic floor area ratio of four-to-one and a maximum total floor area of six-to-one."

The site at 53 Symonds St is described as "somewhat irregular shaped" while the 55 Symonds St site is a regular rectangle of about 12 by 27 metres.

"When both land areas are combined they form something of an irregular polygon shape to present a workable development site," says Tomlinson.

"The land has a medium to steep fall from the street frontages and has been developed over the years into various terraces marked by remnants of previous retaining walls."

- NZ Herald

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