Office revamp or regal residence, your choice

By Colin Taylor

The Carlton Gore Rd office complex (second from right) overlooks the Auckland Domain.
The Carlton Gore Rd office complex (second from right) overlooks the Auckland Domain.

A low-rise Newmarket office complex facing the Auckland Domain, in the highly sought-after Carlton Gore strip, promises its new owner significant added value potential through refurbishment or its redevelopment as an upmarket residential property.

"This four level building at 79 Carlton Gore Rd comprises one of the most advantageous properties to come to market in recent times," says Nick Hargreaves, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle who is selling the property via expressions of interest.

"While it is a relatively low level building, two of the floors have large footprints of about 1700 square metres per floor," Hargreaves says.

The building, which is being sold with vacant possession, sits on a 1915sq m site and comes with 73 carparks of which 65 are under cover in the basement.

"It has great potential as a value added opportunity just as a straight-forward office refurbishment.

However, being directly opposite the attractive grassed and tree-lined fields of the Auckland Domain, it also lends itself to the possibility of a high end conversion into residential apartments or units."

The property has unimpeded views over the Auckland Domain which constitutes one of the city's largest parkland spaces. It is also close to the Newmarket commercial district with its numerous department stores and designer shops, just 2.8km from the Auckland CBD, a short distance from the popular Parnell shopping and restaurant strip, and near the Grafton Hospital precinct.

"This is a classic example of a property that will benefit from the urban renewal underway in this area," Hargreaves says. "The building is at the top end of a strip of office properties that saw significant redevelopment through the late 1990s and early 2000s. This means it and the neighbouring properties are the next logical phase in this trend".

As well as being within the vicinity of a number of corporate headquarters, the property is firmly located within the sphere of influence of the University of Auckland's Newmarket campus.

"This comprehensive redevelopment of the 5.2 hectare former Lion Nathan Brewery site is likely to lead to a substantial urban renewal throughout Newmarket," says Hargreaves. "The University of Auckland has committed to spending some $1 billion to redevelop the site over a period lasting as long as 10 years and this will be a significant catalyst to the area.

"As the University of Auckland's new campus begins to take shape, the significant downstream impacts on surrounding properties are already being felt. "

Justin Kean, Jones Lang LaSalle's director of research and capital markets, says regional and global work undertaken by the agency indicates that Westfield's 277 and 309 Broadway redevelopments within Newmarket, and the extensive University of Auckland projects, will see the creation of "a new urbanism" in the precinct which should significantly lift the overall appeal of the area.

Kean cites the urban renewal examples of Docklands in Melbourne, Kings Cross in London and the regeneration of the Toronto waterfront as developments that completely revolutionised the urban fabric of their neighbouring locations.

"When underutilised urban space in built-up areas undergoes a wholesale redevelopment, the downstream impact on neighbouring properties can be significant," Kean says.

"Not only will Newmarket and its environs like Carlton Gore Rd benefit from the planned massive university development, but uses such as accommodation, tertiary study and high end research will have extensive positive impacts for owners of retail and residential property in the area."

Kean says Newmarket is widely regarded as Auckland's premier strip retail shopping destination because of its combination of boutique retail, cafes, eateries, movie theatres, hotels, bars and gyms. It also has easy access to Auckland's motorway system along with efficient rail and bus services.

"The property at 79 Carlton Gore Rd is well supported by a commercial centre with over 16,000 people working in the business district every day - according to the Newmarket Business Association.

"Statistics New Zealand has forecast a 41.1 per cent increase in the growth of the population for Newmarket and the surrounding areas between 2011 and 2026.

"This prediction was released prior to announcements about the development of the new campus, so it is likely the population will exceed even these growth forecasts."

- NZ Herald

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