Downtown Auckland development site for sale

10:02 PM Wednesday May 15, 2019 True Commercial

The 38 Fort St development site is identified in this aerial photo as a narrow blue rectangle. Photo / Supplied

An Auckland CBD development site has been placed on the market with building consent in place for a 17-level high-rise hotel.

Colliers International has been exclusively appointed to market 38 Fort St for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Thursday May 23, unless it sells earlier.

Site sale broker Cherry Higginson says the vacant 282sq m property at 38 Fort St is superbly positioned within one of the city’s fastest-growing and easily-accessible pockets of activity.

Located only two blocks from Queen St, it is nestled between the popular Britomart precinct to the north and the established financial and legal hub of Shortland Street to the south.

The surrounding area is undergoing a huge transformation as two of Auckland’s largest residential developments, The Seascape and The Pacifica, take shape nearby.

Fort St itself has recently undergone substantial urban renewal, with its streetscape being revamped into lively ‘shared space’ that has delivered massive uplifts in footfall and turnover for surrounding businesses.

Higginson says the vacant landholding is offered with multiple development options.

“The property has resource and building consents in place for a new 74-room hotel, allowing a new owner to fast-track development of much-needed Auckland CBD accommodation.

“The timing couldn’t be better, with Auckland due to host an influx of tourists and delegates for the America’s Cup and APEC in 2021.

“A new owner could also consider reviving prior consented plans for a 17-level commercial, residential and retail development on the site.

“Another option is to devise a whole new plan for the site, such as a standalone office or apartment development.

“Any of these options would benefit from Auckland CBD’s record low office and retail vacancy rates, along with huge demand for residential and short-stay accommodation.”

Blair Peterken of Colliers’ capital markets team says the key to the property’s appeal is its position within the heart of Auckland CBD.

“Located close to Auckland’s waterfront and the Viaduct Harbour, the site has excellent access to the very best shopping, food and entertainment the city has to offer.

“The property is a short walk to Queen St, the Britomart Transport Centre and the Ferry Terminal offering regular public transport options.

“It is surrounded by major office, retail, residential and hotel developments, including a number of projects that are already reshaping Auckland’s skyline.

“The nearby Pacifica apartment building, under construction on Commerce St, will be one of the city’s tallest at 178m.

“It will be eclipsed in height by Seascape, under construction on Customs Street East, which at 185m is destined to become the tallest residential building in Auckland.

“Commercial Bay, nearing completion opposite Britomart, will feature premier office accommodation, along with high-end retail and a new dining precinct.

“The scale of these developments highlights the enormous demand for quality space in the heart of the CBD.”

The property for sale was previously the site of a run-down, two-level commercial building occupied by Lipstix – a club harking back to Fort St’s seedy past as Auckland’s ‘red light’ district.

The building has since been demolished, with the site being offered to the market as a vacant landholding on a single freehold title.

The relatively level site is rectangular shaped, with about 9.5m of street frontage and a depth of about 30m.

It is zoned Business City Centre within the Queen Street Valley precinct, allowing for a wide range of options and some of the highest-density development in Auckland.

The current resource consent is for a proposed 17-level hotel including 74 rooms, a first-floor restaurant and an office on the second floor. Building consents for stages one and two of the 3275sq m development were granted in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

An earlier resource consent was for a 17-level commercial and residential building with ground floor retail. This development option included eight apartments spread over eight floors, including a penthouse suite, along with seven office levels above the retail premises. The retail space was to span the ground and mezzanine floors, including a deck with frontage to Fort St.