By True Commercial

Hotel developers are being targeted in the sale of a substantial Auckland CBD corner site including the character commercial building Link House.

Located on the three titles at 13 and 15 Albert St and 9 Wolfe St, the property encompasses a total of 1228sq m of land and is ripe for redevelopment, says Bayleys senior commercial agent Robert Platt and who is marketing it with Bayleys' director, hotel and tourism Nick Thompson.

Featured in Bayleys' latest Total Property portfolio, it is for sale as one lot with vacant possession, closing at 4pm, August 25 unless sold sooner by negotiation.

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Platt says the owners of the property for many years are not developers and have never lodged redevelopment consents on the land.

"It's an outstanding redevelopment opportunity occupying a profile corner position with three street frontages and located on Albert St - which is one of Auckland CBD's main arterial roads. "It would be a superb location for a hotel development but the design and type of development undertaken will be for the new land owners to decide.

"It's flexible City Centre zoning allows for a high-density mix of commercial and residential uses under the new Unitary Plan with a ratio of 13sq m of building per one sq m of land permitted."

Platt says the site is close to Queen Street, the waterfront, the Britomart transport hub and the Commercial Bay office and retail complex now under construction. Surrounding buildings are high and medium rise office towers including the prominent ANZ office building; a number of residential apartments occupying both converted buildings and newly built developments; and the Stanford Plaza and Quay West Hotels.

The largest of the three titles is 9 Wolfe St which encompasses 759sq m of land. The run down five-level ex-Challenge House is located on this corner site which also has frontage onto Federal St. The lower three floors of this building were leased to Wilsons Carparking until recently but the whole building is now vacant.

This site adjoins 15 Albert St which has 269sq m of land on the corner with Wolfe St and has two smaller buildings of 440sq m and 610sq m respectively. The 13 Albert St title is the smallest with 200sq m of land occupied by a 960sq m six-level character style commercial building with a Heritage B designation.

Platt says the property presents a number of development options.

The building at 13 Albert St could be integrated into an overall development of the entire site. Alternatively, the character buildings at 13-15 Albert St could be refurbished and restored and the unused developable gross floor area (GFA) transferred to 9 Wolfe St, which would allow a taller building to be constructed on that title.

"The restored buildings at 13-15 Albert St could be integrated with the newly developed Wolfe St site and used as ancillary hotel or retail areas; or they could be on-sold at a later date either refurbished or in their current raw state."

Thompson says there continues to be strong interest in CBD hotel sites given the current shortage of hotel beds and a projected increase in future demand which will result from the new Sky City convention centre and major events such as Apec and the defence of the America's Cup. He was recently involved in the sale on behalf of Manson TCLM of a nearby1100sq m site in Wyndham St which was bought by Australia-based Pro-Invest Group for the development of a 37-level tower for two InterContinental hotels - a Holiday Inn and an Even wellness lifestyle hotel.