CBD development site has concept for twin towers

5:00 AM Saturday September 26, 2015 Colin Taylor

Elevated view of western side of the development site at 110-112 Nelson St.

A big Auckland development site with dual frontages to Nelson St and Hobson St along with concept studies for two apartment towers is up for sale.

“This rare and significant CBD site is prime for development, at a time when Auckland’s market fundamentals are strengthening,” says John Binning, JLL’s director of capital markets, who is marketing 217-223 Hobson St and 110-116 Nelson St for sale via expressions of interest closing on Thursday October 29.

“This property has an attractive configuration and very few redevelopment opportunities of this nature are currently available in the commercial heart of Auckland. We therefore expect it to generate a significant level of interest from both local and offshore investors and developers.”

The property comprises a 2926 sq m rectangular site with dual frontage to both Hobson St  and Nelson St and is located about 100 metres north of the intersections of Union St and Pitt Street. It is less than 300 metres from the SkyCity Convention Centre and the planned new five star Hobson St Hotel.

Binning says that the concept studies drawn up for the site by Land Architects depict two apartment towers. “The Nelson Street tower comprises 15 storeys made up of two basement levels, a ground floor and 12 upper levels of apartments; while the Hobson Street Tower has 14 storeys made up of two basement levels, a ground floor and 11 upper levels of apartments. Both towers, which total 29,666 sq m could provide 254 residential apartments ranging between one and three bedrooms along with 250 car parking spaces and ground floor retail space fronting Nelson St and Hobson St.”

He says conditions today are prime for apartment development, hotel or mixed use projects. “This is demonstrated by the number of proposed projects currently being sold down or under construction that have been triggered by the better economic conditions. There is long-term stable demand for this product type due to the combination of a growing population, a rise in visitor arrivals to New Zealand, and the increasing acceptance of apartments as a viable accommodation option.”

Binning believes the highest and best use of the site is for redevelopment as an apartment complex or a hotel; or a mix of both.  

217-223 Hobson St, Auckland City - elevated view with site marked by red circle.jpg

Aerial view depicting the big Nelson St and Hobson St development circled. 

“It is generating holding rental income from three formal lease agreements, each with a demolition clause, across 1180 sq m of net lettable area while also providing onsite car parking for 53 vehicles.

A building that was constructed in the 1960s occupies the front component on the western side of the site at 110-112 Nelson St. Leased to a car rental company it comprises 252 sq m of reception and sales area, a small workshop, storage space and car parking.

On the rear component of the property at 114-116 Nelson Street is 343 sq m of lettable area containing an assortment of light industrial and workshop buildings leased to P and K Automotive, a car servicing and mechanics company. 

Set back from the Hobson Street frontage is 217-223 Hobson Street, a 584 sq m building constructed in the 1960s and leased to Best Souvenirs Limited. The building incorporates showroom office and warehouse components.

Binning says the value of the site will be significantly enhanced by the planned SkyCity Convention Centre north of the property. It will allow the site to benefit from the valuable new sector of convention visitors and the economic stimulation that the convention centre will bring to the area.

Binning says developers are “on a high” following the global financial crisis and especially those focusing on residential or mixed use developments as a result of the demand emanating from commercial and residential occupiers.

“This particular property is very well located, with a prime retail development street on one side and strong pedestrian traffic flows on the other. It incorporates both city and inner harbour views and is within a notable residential intensification area that has excellent motorway access and transport links.

“Improvements to infrastructure like the city rail link will have a positive impact on this property’s accessibility, a factor which major commercial tenants and residents will be assessing when determining where to relocate.” 

John Binning of JLL.jpg

John Binning, JLL.