Huge site part of Westgate 'jigsaw'

By Colin Taylor

The 27ha greenfield site, bordered in red, is next to the Westgate Town Centre development.
The 27ha greenfield site, bordered in red, is next to the Westgate Town Centre development.

A big piece of "greenfield" development land just off Auckland's Northwestern Motorway has been placed on the market for sale.

The 27.56ha site is next to the New Zealand Retail Property Group's Westgate Town Centre development.

At present it's strawberry fields, with a large packhouse and retail facility on the side, but it is zoned for industrial, mixed-use and residential development.

The site straddles Westgate Town's commercial and civic block. The general business and bulk retail sector is on one side and a light industry precinct is on the other.

The site up for sale has more than half a kilometre of street frontage on to Fred Taylor Drive - the main arterial route linking Westgate with State Highway 16.

The major landholding is being marketed for sale by Mike Houlker of Bayleys Auckland as senior sales person with colleague Sunil Bhana through a tender process closing on November 14.

Houlker says the property is zoned for light industry and mixed use; and for terraced house and apartment building as part of the now operative Plan Change 15 and also under the Draft Unitary Plan.

Houlker says under the council zoning the land could be split into three separate designations plus open space - featuring 5.8ha of industrial space, 2.91ha of mixed-use space and 14.25ha of terraced housing and apartment building together with 4.6ha of open space. The three defined zones are available for purchase individually or as one combined landholding including the open space.

"Under the proposed plan the light industry zone on the northwestern boundary would be suitable for small service industry premises, light manufacturing premises, logistics, storage, transport and distribution activities," Houlker says.

"The mixed-use zone bordering Fred Taylor Drive is suitable for mixed-use commercial and retail and for residential premises typically seen along public transport corridors and major routes. The objective of a mixed-use zone is to provide areas where there is a need for residential and employment activities that do not cumulatively affect the viability of town centres," Houlker says.

"In regards to the terraced housing and apartment building zone, the objective is to locate dwellings around the town centre and amenities close to the public transport stations and transport routes.

"The purpose is to make efficient use of land and infrastructure by simultaneously increasing the supply of housing, and ensuring that residents have convenient access to employment, education services, retail destinations, and entertainment opportunities.

"Low-density development is discouraged in the proposed plan, while mid-rise multi-unit living is encouraged. Buildings of four to six storeys are allowed - depending on location within the site and proximity to the park and open space areas," he says.

Approved plans for the adjoining Westgate Town Centre show a 56ha development encompassing the construction of a 47,000sq m bulk retail, home-fittings and furnishings retail zone; a 55,000sq m trade-based retail zone and a 69,000sq m town centre complete with a 3500sq m library.

Social amenities being built in Westgate Town include a bus station, 6ha of open space including parks and walkways, community rooms, playground and skate park.

Projections from the Auckland Council estimate the overall Westgate Master Plan covering the town centre and surrounding residential, industrial and commercial development will generate 10,000 new jobs, supported by 4000 new residents - with the largest residential area to be within the land being sold by Bayleys.

The Westgate Master Plan is part of what the Auckland Council has labelled the Northwestern Transformation.

Stage one embraces the huge residential subdivision of Hobsonville Pt, with the development of commercial and retail activities around Hobsonville Village on both sides of State Highway 18 linking West Auckland with the North Shore.

The major infrastructure upgrades in the Westgate area make it the largest urbanisation project in New Zealand at present.

According to the Auckland Council the Northwest Transformation has an estimated cost of $1 billion.

"The growth being undertaken in this region of the city is phenomenal and will result in a vastly different topography by 2020 from what is there now. It's the birth of a new satellite city bringing together new housing, employment opportunities, and social infrastructure," Houlker says.

"The site being sold is merely one piece in this multi-faceted urban jigsaw, but it is a critically important piece to the overall scheme of what is envisaged for the future."

- NZ Herald

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