CBD site has consent for nine level building

5:00 AM Saturday February 11, 2017 True Commercial

The property at 6-8 Upper Queen St, identified by a red border. Photo / Supplied

A substantial Upper Queen St site with resource consent for a nine-level building, with ground floor retail, 62 apartments and basement parking for 47 cars, is now on the market.

Designed by Melbourne-based Plus Architecture, and occupying a freehold 1176sq m rectangular site at 6-8 Upper Queen St, the proposed building will be exactly two minutes’ walk from the future City Rail Link (CRL) Karangahape train station on Mercury Lane, says Kathy Ying, marketing agent with Whillans Realty Group.

Ying, who is marketing the property with agency managing director, Bruce Whillans, say the site has a street frontage onto Upper Queen St of 24.6m and will be sold by a tender process closing March 8.

“This property previously housed an electrical equipment store and a vintage T-shirt shop, but part of the buildings has been demolished to make room for a modern showroom,” she says.

The zoning is intensive City Centre Karangahape Rd Precinct, which under the Unitary Plan, has a 35m height limit, subject to Volcanic Viewshaft Height Control (Mt Eden E10).

“Arguably, this is one of the best available apartment development sites in the city and city fringe region, having a central location close to schools, universities, the motorway on-ramps and other amenities,” says Ying.

“The property is also near the corner of Karangahape Rd [K Rd] and Queen St, so within Auckland Girls and Boys Grammar School zones.

“It is within walking distance of Auckland University’s city and Grafton Medical School campuses, as well as AUT.”

Ying notes the future CRL station, earmarked for completion by 2023, will be about 200m away. Bus stops are within a two-minute walk and access to the pink Lightpath cycleway is 300m away.

“The Auckland Domain, Albert Park, Myers Park and other parks are all within a 1km radius of the property, offering plenty of outdoor space for recreational activities.

“This area has changed substantially in recent years, with the precinct set to undergo further revitalisation. Additional apartment developments, boutiques and eateries will reinvigorate the area,” she notes.

“Four of Metro magazine’s Top 50 restaurants and cafes including Coco’s Cantina, Bestie, Apero and Forte Green are all on Karangahape Rd.”

A few months ago five gourmet food and beverage tenancies opened in the nearby K Rd Food Workshop.

“K Rd has become a vibrant commercial and residential extension of Ponsonby Rd because of its closeness to motorway links and amenities the area has to offer. It’s all on people’s doorstep.”

Developments planned in this area include the construction of three new apartment buildings, Two-Nine-Five K Road, Oasis, and Unistay Central.

Whillans says with the continuing shortage of housing in Auckland, apartments is steadily gaining traction and values have taken off in the last couple of years.

Unless immigration policies change and the building of new homes catches up, values will likely continue to rise until the housing shortage is satisfied, he says.

“So far this has not been the case even with increased residential development pipelines across the city. The first new apartment units to be completed near Karangahape Rd sold off-plan for between $8000 per sq m and $10,000 per sq m in 2013. Today those same units are selling for between $10,500 per square metre and $12,500 per sq m.”

Meanwhile, apartments in new developments being sold off-plan are selling for up to $15,000 per sq m.

“Apartments targeting owner-occupiers are in high demand.

“Baby boomers are cashing-up family homes and downsizing into apartments,” says Whillans.

“First home buyers are also driving the apartment market. For buyers looking for a home under $1 million close to the CBD and Newmarket, apartment living has become the only available option.”