A big Auckland North Shore landholding known as The Gasometer Site, which straddles two blocks in Takapuna's central business district, has been placed on the market for prospective sale to a preferred buyer.
The 2813sq m site, with street frontages to Huron, Auburn and Northcroft Sts, is featured in Bayleys' Total Property portfolio magazine, and is being sold through a registrations of interest process closing at 4pm on August 16.
"The site has been identified as constituting a strategic piece of Takapuna's future landscape," says Daryl Devereux who is marketing the property with Bayleys colleagues Gerald Rundle and Ranjan Unka.
"The intention of the registrations of interest phase of the sales process is to identify a shortlist of parties with the appropriate track record, capability, financial capacity and vision to undertake a redevelopment of the Gasometer Site, that's aligned with the Council's vision for Takapuna," Rundle says.
Devereux says a number of design principles and associated specific design requirements have been applied to The Gasometer site aimed at ensuring a selected development supports a successful urban Takapuna.
The site is zoned a Metropolitan Centre under the operative Auckland Unitary Plan within the Takapuna 1 Sub-precinct C overlay.
"The Metropolitan Centre zoning that applies to The Gasometer site provides exceptional development opportunities and is second only to the City Centre zoning in terms of economic activity options, residential intensification, public facilities and public transport accessibility," Devereux says. "Tall buildings will be encouraged on the site, where the opportunities are unlimited.
"The vision for Takapuna is based around increasing density in a sustainable and strategic way; implementing high quality urban design with civic amenities and good access to community facilities including parks and public transport."
Unka says there are specific design requirements for any high-quality building on the Huron/Auburn/Northcroft Sts location.
These include having 'vibrant retail premises' on the ground floor, upgrading pedestrian access around the perimeter of the site, creating energy-efficient dwellings across a range of sizes and price points, and creating a structure that would be viewed as a series of towers or a single tower.
"An elegant form with architecture that reflects the Takapuna's beach-side community ambience is the outcome being sought," Unka says.
Adjacent to the site being offered for sale, there are separate plans for the construction of a more efficient new car park to replace an existing one.
Devereux says The Gasometer land is owned by Auckland Council and forms an integral part of Panuku Development Auckland's planned redevelopment of central Takapuna. Panuku is Auckland Council's urban redevelopment agency.
"In leading the redevelopment of Takapuna town centre, Panuku has a strong interest in The Gasometer site and wishes to retain an ongoing oversight role in development of the property.
"As part of a 'partnership ethos' for developing the site, Panuku is offering its assistance to resource consent applications for the site, participating in steering groups and project groups, and completing a subdivision that will see land allocated for a new car park facility."
He says the legal boundaries of the Huron/Auburn/Northcroft St block are currently being realigned, and new certificates of title are being issued to create three new lots.
Takapuna's classification as Metropolitan Centre in the Auckland Unitary Plan means its residential development capacity has been increased to accommodate up to 21,500 people – up from the 7500 people registered as living in the town centre and fringe areas in the 2013 Census.
The former Auckland Gas Company site was originally built for gas storage in the heart of Takapuna in 1915.
Gas was reticulated to the Takapuna site from the Auckland Gas Company's Devonport site - coming through a high-pressure pipe from the company's Beaumont Street plant opposite Victoria Park.
Rundle says that once all registrations of interest have been received from potential buyers, a shortlisting process will begin, with the view that a final potential purchaser is selected in November and a development agreement signed by early 2019.
"Additional information from respondents, along with explanations of their vision for the site, may be requested."