CBD site with consent for 46 level tower

5:00 AM Saturday February 14, 2015 Colin Taylor

Artist’s impression of proposed 46 storey tower at 51-53 Albert St on the city skyline as viewed from College Hill.

One of a rapidly diminishing number of opportunities to secure a well located high rise development site in Auckland’s CBD is available for purchase with a resource consent already in place for a 46 storey residential tower.

The 645 sq m rectangular site at 51-53 Albert Street is for sale by private treaty through Colin McKenna of Bayleys Auckland, with a closing date of February 28, if not sold earlier by negotiation. McKenna says while there are a number of sites still to be developed in the CBD most have been secured by developers with plans in place for large scale projects or by land bankers with no immediate intentions of selling. 

“We have gone from having a surfeit of CBD development sites on our books to having very few good opportunities left,” says McKenna. “This one comes with a number of added benefits which includes a resource consent for a major tower building, plus valuable air space rights over the neighbouring property as well as holding income from a current lease to Wilson Parking.”

McKenna said the resource consent was originally granted in February 2009 with an extension secured for another three years from February last year.

“The current owner now no longer wishes to proceed with this consent which opens up an opportunity for another party to activate it or pursue their own plans for the site. It’s in a superb position in the heart of the CBD overlooking the Waitemata Harbour and with one of the inner city’s best public spaces – St Patrick’s Square  – at its doorstep.”

The existing consent encompasses 150 apartments, 95 car parking spaces, with access off Albert Street, a swimming pool, gymnasium, restaurant, cafe and function room as well as a public pedestrian link from Albert St to St Patrick’s Square. The proposed 143.9 metre tall, 12,034 sq m building would have 302 sq m floors.

True Commercial - 51-53 Albert St - as is.jpg

The property at 51-53 Albert St currently comprises an aged three level building. 

Levels five to 26 would comprise 85 loft apartments incorporating mezzanine levels with the upper floors containing 68 two-bedroom apartments. The tower has been designed by Paul Brown Architects to ‘step back’ from the facades so that a relatively slender but imposing structure will not dominate St Patrick’s Square.

The property currently comprises an aged three level building of just under 2000 sq m constructed around a century ago on the western side of Albert St with vehicle access off St Patrick’s Square at the rear of the site. This provides the entry point for two levels of car parking totalling 1290 sq m. Ground level retail space of 577 sq m on Albert St is currently vacant. The building covers the entire site which extends for approximately 16.7 metres along both Albert Street and St Patrick’s Square with a depth of approximately 38.5 metres.

Total annual current net holding income is $114,887 plus GST derived solely from Wilson Parking Limited. A six year lease, which has annual rent reviews to the Consumer Price Index, expires on November 30, 2016, but is subject to a demolition clause providing for the property to be vacated within three months of written notice being given.

McKenna says the owner of 51-53 Albert St has secured the rights to air space and underpinning easements over the adjacent property at 55 Albert Street meaning that no further upward development can be undertaken by the next door neighbour.

“The owner of 51-53 Albert St retains all the development rights that the owner of 55 Albert St may have had or may have in the future,” he says. “This would give the proposed tower

unobstructed views to the south above Level 2 as well as  from both the front and rear to the east and west respectively.The property to the immediate north is the Prince Albert Apartments with the proposed tower block rising above that complex at about Level 7.

The property is currently zoned Residential Precinct Area 2 within Strategic Management Area 1 (SMA1) which McKenna says allows for the highest concentration of commerce, entertainment, retailing and residential activities in the CBD. “The property is positioned in a location characterised by intensive development encompassing high and low rise office accommodation, various retail activities and both residential and hotel accommodation. It contains the largest concentration of high rise buildings in the city and this site offers an excellent opportunity to add a landmark building to the central city skyline.”

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Colin McKenna of Bayleys.