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Rising tide of interest in Waiheke development sites for sale

Interest from commercial property developers is mounting over three sites that are up for sale in the heart of Waiheke Island’s main commercial hub.

The three adjacent freehold properties at 135-139 Ocean View Road, Oneroa, are 100 metres from the island’s most popular beach. They are currently home to high-profile hospitality and retail outlets and two character homes.

The property at the corner of Ocean View and Waikare roads is best-known among locals and visitors as the site of the popular Sol Café and Bar, as well as bohemian retailer Shambhala Sacred Shop and the Paora sculpture studio.

The three available sites offer a combined landholding of more than 3,000 square metres with twin sea vistas over Oneroa Bay and back across to the mainland.

Amid gathering interest from developers, they have been mooted for possible projects including a residential/retail complex or a boutique hotel.

The freehold land and buildings at 135, 137 and 139 Ocean View road are now being marketed for sale by negotiation through Bayleys Waiheke and Great Barrier.

Salespeople Mana Tahapehi and Florenci Pillado said the real estate for sale incorporated three titles totalling approximately 3,140 square metres of commercial-zoned land. The sites house buildings with a total floor area of some 397 square metres.

The properties for sale currently contain:

• A prime corner site at 139 Ocean View Road with three retail spaces, off-street parking and a single garage with loft. Tenants Sol Café and Bar, Shambhala Sacred Shop and Paora pay total annual rent of $112,721 plus outgoings and GST for a combined 727 square metres of space.

• A renovated two-bedroom weatherboard cottage of 84 square metres at 137 Ocean View Road, which buyers could adopt as a permanent home or executive holiday pad. A market appraisal suggests this could earn up to $37,700 per year from residential tenants or up to $895 per night as a holiday rental in peak season.

• At 135 Ocean View Road, a tenanted 69-square metre cottage with two bedrooms, a single garage and a studio space. This currently earns rent of $18,720 per annum.

Tahapehi said both cottages had generous back lawns and an abundance of parking space and all three properties had recently been awarded allocations to the exclusive Owhanake wastewater reticulation plant, allowing for future expansion.

This, combined with the large combined landholding in the island’s major commercial centre, made the sites a prime target for developers, he said.

The properties are zoned Commercial 1 (Oneroa village) under Auckland Council’s unitary plan, which permits activities such as shops, cafes, restaurants, taverns and offices.

Tahapehi said developers “with an eye to the future” were interested in exploring possible projects to make the most of the large landholding.

“Possibilities at this location include a mixed-use retail/residential development, potentially combining a multi-unit apartment complex with ground-floor shops.

“Alternatively, the site could be well-suited to a high-end boutique hotel, possibly with a restaurant and street-front retail offerings. This could fill a gap in existing visitor accommodation offerings and potentially cater to small conferences hosting executives from the mainland,” Tahapehi said.

Pillado said it had been several years since a development site of comparable size and potential had come on to the market in Waiheke.

“The properties at 135-139 Ocean View Road are on the market at a time when interest in visiting and living on the island is at an all-time high. Waiheke’s popularity is growing not just in New Zealand but also overseas,” she said.

Pillado said the island’s reputation had been boosted by international plaudits including the Lonely Planet guide’s ranking of Waiheke as the fifth-best region in the world to visit in 2016.

Perceptions of the island as an idyllic island bolt hole in the Covid-19 era were adding further to interest, she said.

“An influx of new arrivals have grown the population in recent years. With a resident population now approaching 10,000, Waiheke is New Zealand’s most densely-populated island, and the third most populated after the North and South islands. An estimated further 3,400 have second homes or holiday homes on the island,” Pillado said.

With a name translating to “long beach”, Oneroa is unofficially considered Waiheke’s “capital”. It sits at the western end of the island where the bulk of the population is concentrated.

Pillado said the township was well connected to the mainland with regular passenger ferries from downtown Auckland to the terminal in Matiatia Bay, a three-minute drive from Ocean View Road. The 40-minute sailing time was comparable to many commuters’ daily journeys within Auckland, she said.

Further transport options were available in the form of car ferries, helicopter and other air links, as well as private boats, she said.

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