By Paul Charman

One of Newmarket's most-used parking buildings - the Eden Street Carpark - is for sale by tender with brokers promoting the potential for apartments to be added above the existing structure.

The property is being marketed by Henry Thompson, of Whillans Realty Group, who points out that the opportunity to secure a modern carparking property just 50m from Broadway is highly unusual.

Tenders for the fully leased property will close on October 10.

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Located at 1-4 Eden St, at the centre of Newmarket's luxury retail precinct, the property has 377 secure carparks (119 public and 258 reserved spaces), along with 1424sq m of ground floor retail showroom, plus storage and office space.

"The building is directly opposite the Two Double Five shopping centre and Smith and Caughey's and has direct pedestrian access to Teed St," says Thompson.

"It is also less than 50m from the Westfield Shopping Centre," he says.

The property earns $935,139 a year, underpinned by a 9.6-year weighted average lease term, says Thompson.

Wilson Parking, which operates the 377 carparks, has about 13 years to run on its lease, with annual rental growth of 2.5 per cent.

Thompson says the immediate area is set to undergo a major urban transformation, led by Westfield's $650m expansion of its shopping centre, with works scheduled to begin soon.

Constructed in the 1980s, the parking building holds a 69 per cent NBS (New Building Standard) seismic rating and has the potential for additional floors.

It sits on a 1422sq m freehold site, having 48m of frontage on to Eden St and 49m on to Bourke St.

A concept scheme has already been prepared for 39 apartments to be built on top of the existing structure.

Thompson says such a development would be located in the double grammar zone, be able to deliver sweeping city and harbour views and receive abundant natural light from all directions.

"Diocesan School for Girls, Dilworth school for boys and St Cuthbert's College are also less than 1.5km away."

He adds that similar new-built apartments in suburbs like Parnell, Newmarket and Remuera are achieving sale rates of about $15,000 per sq m.

Alternatively, the additional four levels could be used as serviced apartments, or for a boutique hotel similar to the Swiss-Belsuites Victoria Park, above the Victoria Park parking building.

The 40 one, two and three-bedroom 4.5 star suites are fitted with energy and water efficient features and appliances.

"The advantage of the Eden St parking building, as with the Victoria Park carpark, is that all the foundation work is in place. It would only require some additional structural strengthening, along with council approval."

Thompson says that in the meantime, changes to Auckland's planning laws will ensure that a central Newmarket parking building will always be in demand due to unceasing demand for parking from people wanting to park or work in the heart of the retail strip.

"Under the Auckland Unitary Plan, changes have been introduced to reduce the development of off-street carparking in Newmarket," he explains.

Within the Metropolitan Centre Zone (which applies to a majority of the land in Newmarket), there is no minimum carparking requirement for new development. Instead, a limit has been set on the amount of parking that can be provided on a site.

"Newmarket is a popular destination for corporate head offices. In the past four years Watercare, Mercury Energy and Fuji Xerox have all moved in," says Thompson.

"Despite this, Auckland Council is controlling the development of purpose-built carparking buildings at Newmarket, to ensure additional parking won't undermine urban intensification there.

"Of course, such restrictions belie the rising demand for carparking in an area where the numbers of residents and office workers continues to rise, and where developments continue to expand."