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Former North Shore fire station site ignites residential development interest

The vacated station on Knights Road, Rothesay Bay, has been put up for sale after it was replaced by a new fire station on East Coast Road as part of a review of the fast-growing East Coast Bay’s requirements by Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Positioned on a high-profile corner, with wide frontages and access to Knights and Beach roads, the land offering is of a rare scale for the area at more than 1,500-square metres, and is zoned for residential intensification.

It is expected to hold particular appeal for residential developers, as well as land-bankers and potentially owner-occupiers seeking to remodel the premises for a range of potential future uses.

The freehold land and building at 19 Knights Road, Rothesay Bay, Auckland, are being marketed for sale by tender closing on Thursday 3 March, through Bayleys Auckland Central Salespeople Mike Adams and Jean-Paul Smit and Bayleys North Shore Commercial Salesperson Michael Nees as sole agents.

The offering consists of some 1,542 square metres of freehold land plus the former fire station building of approximately 295 square metres and is being offered with vacant possession.

Adams said the large land area and Residential – Mixed Housing Suburban zoning under the Auckland Unitary Plan would enable medium density intensification with two-storey detached or attached housing such as townhouses/terraced housing or apartments.

The height allowance could potentially rise to three stories under proposed rule changes recently announced by the Government, he said.

“Upper floors of a future complex would enjoy stunning potential view shafts, including vistas across the Hauraki Gulf.

“The area has a relatively high socio-economic demographic including a significant ‘baby boomer’ population, which is consistent with the likely sell-down target market for any redevelopment with townhouses or apartments.

“These market characteristics have already helped to drive the successful development and sell-down of multiple residential projects in the immediate vicinity,” said Adams.

The former fire station building comprises a well-maintained, high-stud garage with two roller doors on each side and ancillary offices, with gated parking to the rear.

Nees said that, subject to council approval, the structure could possibly be suited to a refurbishment for a number of uses including a retail occupier, or a hospitality business such as a craft beer bar or character café/restaurant – perhaps themed on its past life as a fire station.

“These activities would be well served by the site’s high-profile location, ample on-site parking and the lack of commercial amenity in the near vicinity.

“This could be of interest to an owner-occupier, or as a source of holding income for a developer while they investigated future options,” Nees said.

Any future uses would also be supported by the dual access and wide frontages to both Knights Road and Beach Road, the main arterial route linking the East Coast Bays.

Nees said future owners and occupiers would benefit from the site’s highly desirable location in the heart of the North Shore’s East Coast Bays.

“Browns Bay, the area’s main township, is just a short drive away while Albany, which is emerging as the commercial epicentre for all of the North Shore, is just a few minutes to the west.

“The former fire station site is of a size seldom available in this area, and as such it represents a rare opportunity to acquire a genuine redevelopment site,” said Nees.

Click here for more information on the listing.

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