Ponsonby fire station for sale

5:03 AM Saturday November 19, 2016 Colin Taylor

Ponsonby fire station at 182 Ponsonby Rd is being sold with vacant possession.

The high-profile Ponsonby fire station, which has been owned by the New Zealand Fire Service since the early 1920s, is now for sale presenting a wide range of options for its new owner.

“The property is surplus to Fire Service requirements following the station’s relocation to nearby Williamson Ave, Grey Lynn, in May,” says Cameron Melhuish of Bayleys Real Estate who, with colleague Mike Adams, is marketing 182 Ponsonby Rd for sale by tender closing on December 8.

The 820sq m two-level building occupies a 1400sq m freehold site on the corner with Lincoln St and is being sold with vacant possession.

“It is situated in one of the busiest parts of Ponsonby Rd, just south of where it intersects with Franklin Rd and in a rapidly developing part of Ponsonby,” says Melhuish. “This sale represents an outstanding opportunity for a developer, add-value investor or owner-occupier to make their personal mark in a thriving commercial precinct.”

Ponsonby Fire Station - rear of property - CROPPED.jpg

Ponsonby fire station’s sealed rear land area could be redeveloped.

Melhuish says the property is one of the last remaining development sites of its size in a tightly-held location among numerous cafes, bars, restaurants and boutique retail outlets.

“Its two street frontages add to its development potential which could include a mix of prestigious ground-floor retail, food and beverage premises with luxury apartments or premium offices above. An owner-occupier could also use the building to create bespoke premises that would strongly brand their business.”

Adams says the present building was completed in 1980. “It encompasses three fire engine bays with ancillary office, service and training areas on the ground level. Upstairs are former firemen’s quarters, bathroom and shower facilities, kitchen and eating areas, and further common areas.

“The ‘bones’ of the existing building could be incorporated into a redevelopment of the site,” says Adams. “Behind the building, and accessed off Lincoln St, a large sealed area previously used for Fire Service training and parking requirements, could be developed further.

True Commercial - 182 Ponsonby Rd%2c Fire Station - elevated evening view .jpg


As shown in this evening photo, Ponsonby fire station occupies a strategic corner site

“Land at the front off Ponsonby Rd could also be used for outdoor seating for a restaurant or cafe or off-street parking. It might also be possible to add a third-floor level across the site which is zoned Business - Town Centre under the new Unitary Plan. It’s a very versatile property offering a heap of options.”

The Town Centre zoning applies to 41 suburban centres throughout Auckland and they are typically located on main arterial roads which have good public transport access. The zoning permits a wide range of activities including commercial, leisure, residential, tourist, cultural, community and civic facilities.

Adams says a height limit of 13 metres has been set for this area to ensure any new developments keep within the height of other buildings along Ponsonby Rd.  

Melhuish says in recent years Ponsonby Rd has become an increasingly sought-after location for retailers, cafes, bars and eateries - triggered in part by an increasingly affluent surrounding residential population.

True Commercial - 182 Ponsonby Rd%2c Ponsonby Fire Station - aerial with red line boundary.jpg

An aerial view of the Ponsonby fire station property with boundaries identified by a red line.

“Major new developments continue to benefit the immediate location, with the area between Franklin Rd and Richmond Rd particularly popular with retailers,” he says.

“The Ponsonby Central development has revitalised this part of Ponsonby Rd and lifted the calibre of nearby tenants. The ongoing nearby Vinegar Lane mixed-use development with its new Countdown supermarket and upmarket residential and commercial buildings is injecting further life into the area.”

He says the Fire Service will end more than 90 years of occupation when it sells the property. Its first building on the land opened in 1924 and was a four-bay brick building containing accommodation for firefighters and their families. It was replaced by the present station in 1980.

From 1899 to 1923 the local fire station was located on the corner of Williamson Ave and Rose Rd and this is now a heritage building occupied by a restaurant. 

True Commercial - Cameron Melhuish%2c Bayleys - Aug 2013 - cropped.jpg  True Commercial - Mike Adams%2c Bayleys.jpg

Cameron Melhuish and Mike Adams, Bayleys Real Estate