Overlooking Mount Maunganui beach is an empty 1583sq m of scrub-covered land. It has been this way for 50 years. The prime piece of beachfront land is one of the last remaining vacant residential sites in the Mount. Now, the land has been sold to a local company that has big plans to develop the beachfront section. Property reporter Zoe Hunter discovers what the future may look like for this undeveloped land.
One of the last remaining undeveloped beachfront sections in Mount Maunganui has sold.
The new owner of 313 Oceanbeach Rd, TYBI Limited, plans to subdivide the land, which has been vacant for about 50 years.
The bare 1583sq m land, beside a public walkway linking the road to the beach, is one of the last privately-owned sections along the Mount coastline with no house on it.
The scrub-covered quarter-acre section went up for sale at the start of this year and was sold conditionally by Bayleys Mount Maunganui salespeople Janelle and Kay Ganley last month.
TYBI Limited plans to develop the land into four subdivided sections and onsell them.
The proposed new sections come with price tags ranging from $850,000 for the 325sq m plot immediately off Oceanbeach Rd to $2.85 million for the 609sq m beachfront plot.
The land has a current Tauranga City Council rating valuation of $4.1m.
Tauranga City Council general manager of strategy and growth Christine Jones said there were 19 vacant residential sites in the Mount from Adams Ave to Tay St.
TYBI Limited director Shannon Moyle said the Mount was running out of land and greenfield sites were sought after.
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Moyle said subdividing the site would make it more affordable for people to buy and build on.
Janelle Ganley said any sale of the proposed four subdivided sections would only go ahead if at least two of the sites were bought in advance of the original settlement date on the entire landholding.
Ganley said the vacant land meant any new owner could build a home to their own designs and specifications rather than taking on what has been someone else's home.
"From that perspective, they are unique selling propositions," she said.
Tauranga City Council general manager of regulatory and compliance Barbara Dempsey said the council received a resource consent application to subdivide the site into four sections in mid-July, which had not yet been granted.
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said empty sections were rare along the prime strip of beachfront land.
"Think of how much land is available from Pāpāmoa back to the Mount and how much of that is a bare section," he said.
"This has been a really rare offering to the market. It is exciting for the Mount."
Anderson said the land had been owned by a Mount Maunganui family for 50 years who had bought the site with the intention of building their retirement home.
The site was cleared back in the 1970s in preparation for building work to begin but construction never started.
Anderson said there was still plenty of interest from buyers wanting to own a home in the Mount, particularly beachfront property.
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said well-located beach-side properties were "gold dust".
"They don't come up that often and in fact, this may well be one of the last opportunities buyers will have to snap up an undeveloped piece of land next to the beach," he said.
Mount Maunganui/Pāpāmoa ward councillor Leanne Brown said there were still pockets of land available in the Mount as owners "landbank" to maximise their return on investment.
However, Brown said people buying land should expect it to be developed.
"The pressure Tauranga and other growth cities are under means if there are large pockets of land it is likely to be intensified," she said.
"It makes economic sense ... We are running out of green space to develop. We need that housing supply."
Brown said smaller three-storey units were the way of the future.
"That is what is going to evolve. Offering housing choice is part of a growing city."
Tauranga's former deputy mayor, David Stewart, said Mount Maunganui had transformed since he moved to the area more than 30 years ago.
"The Mount has certainly got busier. It is not the small beachside village that it used to be."
• 313 Oceanbeach Rd
•Bare 1583sq m land
•Beside a public walkway linking the road to the beach
•One of the last privately-owned sections along the Mount coastline with no house on it
•Subdividable into four sections from the road to beachfront
•Price tags ranging from $850,000 to $2.85 million
• Current Tauranga City Council rating valuation of $4.1m