A substantial portion of land linked to the urban expansion of infrastructure on Auckland’s North Shore at the turn of the last century has been placed on the market for sale.
The former Auckland Gas Company site – known as The Gasometer - was originally built as a gas storage in the heart of Takapuna in 1915 as gas supply was extended to the burgeoning suburb and the greater North Shore which was moving further up the East Coast Bays.
Gas was reticulated to the Takapuna site from the Auckland Gas Company’s Devonport site, before coming through a high-pressure pipe from the company’s Beaumont Street plant opposite Victoria Park.
The 2,618 square metre site straddles two blocks in central Takapuna, and has street frontages to Huron, Auburn and Northcroft streets. The land is owned by Auckland Council and forms part of Panuku Development Auckland’s (Panuku) Unlock Takapuna regeneration programme. Panuku is Auckland Council’s urban regeneration company. The site is zoned a Metropolitan Centre under the operative Auckland Unitary Plan within the “Takapuna 1 Sub-precinct C overlay”.
The property is being marketed for sale by Bayleys Auckland and Bayleys North Shore through registrations of interest, with the process closing at 4pm on August 16.
Bayleys salespeople Daryl Devereux, Gerald Rundle and Ranjan Unka said the site being marketed for sale had been identified by Panuku as a strategic piece of Takapuna’s future landscape.
“The Gasometer site forms an integral part of the master-planned regeneration of central Takapuna being facilitated by Panuku. Design principles and associated specific design requirements have been applied to the Gasometer site aimed at ensuring the development supports a successful urban Takapuna,” Mr Devereux said.
“The Metropolitan Centre zoning that applies to the Gasometer site provides exceptional development opportunities. The Metropolitan Centre zoning is second only to the City Centre zoning in terms of economic activity options, residential intensification, public facilities and public transport accessibility. Tall buildings are encouraged on the site with unlimited building height control subject to how far the structure is set back from the roading, and floor sizing on each storey.
“Panuku’s vision for Takapuna is based around increased residential density with associated high quality urban design and civic amenities, and good access to community facilities including parks and public transport.”
Takapuna was selected by Panuku and Auckland Council as an ‘Unlock’ location due to the council’s long-standing intention to redevelop key council-owned landholdings in the heart of beach-side suburb. Panuku said it recognised that more could be achieved with the Gasometer car park site and nearby Anzac Street carpark to make more efficient use of these spaces and create better connections within Takapuna’s retail and recreational assets.
“Panuku has the opportunity to enable these redevelopment intentions by acting as a facilitator for redevelopment,” Mr Devereux said.
“Through the Unlock Takapuna Framework Plan, Panuku has a strong interest in the Gasometer site, and wishes to retain an ongoing oversight role in development of the property.
“As part of the ‘partnership ethos’ for developing the site, Panuku has offered its assistance to resource consent applications for the site, participating in steering groups and project groups, and completing the subdivision which will see land allocated for the new car park facility,”
Panuku is currently realigning the existing legal boundaries of the Huron/ Auburn/Northcroft streets block and is reissuing new certificates of title to create two new lots. Adjacent to the 2,618 square metre site being offered for sale, Panuku and Auckland Transport has separate plans for the construction of a more efficient new car park to replace the existing amenity.
Takapuna is classified as a Metropolitan Centre in the Auckland Unitary Plan. This means Takapuna’s residential development capacity has been increased to accommodate up to 21,500 people – up from the 7,500 people registered as living in the town centre and fringe areas in the 2013 Census.
Mr Unka said Panuku had specific design requirements for any high-quality building on the Huron/Auburn/Northcroft streets location. These included having vibrant retail premises on the ground floor, upgrading current pedestrian access around the perimeter of the site, creating energy-efficient dwellings across a range of sizes and price points, and creating a structure that would be viewed as a series of towers rather than one single tower.
“An elegant form for any tall building is considered important. Panuku is seeking architectural variety that reflects the Takapuna’s beach-side community feel,” Mr Unka said.
Mr Rundle said that once all registrations of interest had been received from potential buyers, Panuku would begin a shortlisting process. Panuku expected to have a final potential purchaser selected in November, with a development agreement signed by early 2019.
“The intention of the ROI phase of the sales process is to identify a shortlist of parties with the appropriate track record, capability, financial capacity and vision to undertake a redevelopment of the Gasometer Site, in alignment with Panuku’s vision for Takapuna,” Mr Rundle said.
“Panuku may request additional information from respondents, along with explanations of their vision for the site. Panuku anticipates that the shortlisted parties may be asked to participate in a briefing and question and answer session as part of the selection process.”
Location: The Gasometer – corner of Huron, Auburn and Northcroft streets, Takapuna, Auckland.
Zoning: Metropolitan Centre under the Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) with a Takapuna 1 sub-precinct C overlay. The Gasometer Site forms part of the ‘Unlock Takapuna’ regeneration programme.
Overview: Some 2,618 square metres of freehold land
Sale process: Registrations of Interest closing at 4pm, Thursday 16 August 2018 at Bayleys Auckland, 30 Gaunt Street, Auckland Central, New Zealand.