Red Baron’s flight leaves vacant site

12:36 PM Friday April 19, 2019 Colin Taylor

The building for sale at 299 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn. Photo / Supplied

High-profile land and buildings which previously housed one of Auckland’s foremost motorcycle sales and repair dealerships have been placed on the market.

For 25-years, the property at 299 Great North Road in Grey Lynn was home to the Red Baron motorcycle business which had the franchise to sell and repair Yamaha and Kawasaki brand machines.

The Red Baron business closed earlier this year, and now the prominent two-storey premises sitting on 987-square metres of freehold land is for sale. The site is zoned Business – Mixed Use – allowing for the construction of buildings up to 18m high, with tenancies that could include offices, retailers, food and beverage outlets, and residences.

The land and vacant buildings at 299 Great North Road are being marketed by James Were, Nicolas Ching and Scott Kirk of Bayleys and are for sale by tenders closing at 4pm on May 16 through Bayleys Auckland.

Kirk says property has a raft of potential future-uses – ranging from continuing to operate purely as a retail site, through to a complete redevelopment into an apartment block with street-level retailing entities.

He says the former Red Baron building was constructed in 1968 and has a current new build standard (NBS) rating of 70 per cent. He says the basement has 518sq m of workshop area, while the ground floor contains 647sq m of open-plan space, and 270sq m of mezzanine offices and showroom amenities.

“With ample customer and staff parking at the rear of the site, accessed off Grosvenor St, the building could easily be refurbished to continue its retail heritage. The retail appeal is enhanced by the considerable free-parking immediately outside the property,” Kirk says.

“The multiple flooring levels within the structure mean that with, some internal alterations, the building could be reconfigured into several separate tenancies.

“This portion of Great North Rd running west from the intersection with Ponsonby Rd has served as a hub for or the automotive sales and services sector – showcasing new and used car yards, tyre fitters, engine and auto-electrical repairers, and paint and panel shops.”

Were says that from a redevelopment perspective, the 299 Great North Rd site could replicate the emergence of similar mixed-used addresses along this stretch of Great North Rd overlooking Grey Lynn.

“The past decade has seen a major building stock modernisation programme along Great North Rd - unveiling new retail premises ranging from several prestige car yards for marques like Lamborghini, Audi, Volkswagen, Lexus, and Bentley: through to the opening of the nearby bulk retail Bunnings store,” he says.

“Virtually all of the recently-constructed mixed-use sites on the western aspect of Great North Rd feature either commercial office space or apartments on their upper levels – delivering on the aims and purpose of the Auckland Unitary Plan for increasing land-use efficiency throughout the city.

“The most obvious of the precinct’s new-build redevelopments is evident directly across the road from the old Red Baron workshops on the intersection of Bond St, where The Aston apartment block is located,” Were says.

“This modern complex has retail premises at street level and up to three levels of chic residential dwellings above. Indicatively, a  two-bedroom/two-bathroom/two car-park unit within The Aston is now on the market for an asking price of $1,195,000.

Ching says that, from a residential development perspective, 299 Great North Road is relatively equidistant between the hospitality hubs of Ponsonby, K’ Rd, and Kingsland. “It’s about 10 minutes’ walk in either direction, while also being on a main arterial bus route into the CBD.

“With Grey Lynn village and its full range of retail amenities less than a kilometre away to the west, all the social infrastructure is in place to ‘tick’ all the boxes required to initiate and underpin demand for another mixed-use apartment development in the area.”