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Former seaside motel site with residential redevelopment potential goes up for sale

The flat 1,800-square metre regular-shaped property is located in Central Whitianga and is zoned Waterfront under the Thames-Coromandel District Council plan. The property has been owned by its current owners for 22 years.

Thames-Coromandel District Council’s Waterfront Zone is specific to Whitianga and is located adjacent to Whitianga's Pedestrian Core Zone. The Waterfront Zone contains a mix of medium and extra density residential, visitor accommodation, restaurants and small-scale commercial activities.

The council’s planning notes state: “this area has a strong pedestrian focus, and the management of the street environment to cater for vehicular and pedestrian movement and short‐term vehicle parking is important.”

Surrounded by residential dwellings, the desirable Coromandel seaside address has a road frontage of approximately 57 metres, and currently sustains the buildings which previously operated as the Central Park Motel going concern. The units are now let on permanent contracts as premium-grade residential accommodation in a prime location.

The freehold land and buildings encompassing two titles at 4 and 6 Mill Road in Whitianga are now being jointly marketed for sale at auction on April 26 through Bayleys Whitianga and Bayleys Hamilton. Salespeople Josh Smith and Belinda Sammons said that while the motel could be reinstated as a commercially-run accommodation business, the more likely future of the site was for higher-density residential redevelopment.

“The permutations of its future use are numerous. Very rarely do landholdings of this size in the Waterfront Zone come up for sale,” said Smith.

Smith said that while the land and 470 square metres of buildings were being sold with ‘vacant possession’, holding income from the multi-unit property could generate up to $140,000 per annum while redevelopment plans for the site were drawn up and submitted to Thames-Coromandel District Council.

The site’s existing accommodation inventory comprises eight units – ranging in size from a studio unit up to a two-bedroom apartment, as well as a two-bedroom owner/manager’s residence.

“The property is in a strategic location – with Mill Road linking the township to the beach. The property’s topography and position in Mill Road define its position within the Waterfront Zone – some 200 metres from the beach in one direction and the boat ramp, 200 metres from the town centre in the other direction, and 200 metres from Whitianga’s waterfront hospitality strip,” Smith said.

“This special zoning allows for the Mill Road property to be developed to maximise the use of the space – allowing for 50-percent site coverage and construction up to 10 metres high, which could be a three-storey townhouse.”

The latest property sales data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows that median property values in the Thames-Coromandel District reached a record peak in February at $1.15 million - up 32.9 percent compared to the same month in the previous year. In February 2021, the median house price sale value for the Thames-Coromandel District was $865,000.

Thames Coromandel District Council’s 2018-2028 Long Term Plan identifies that Whitianga is one of two towns in the province to experience the biggest growth in the number of homes being built. The other township is Tairua.

“The projected dwelling and rating unit growth rate (for Whitianga) is higher than population projections due to the ongoing growth in holiday homes. Mercury Bay (which includes Whitianga) is projected to experience the greatest growth in population,” the statistics-based council report noted.

Meanwhile, the council’s Economic Development Strategy Towards 2028 paper notes: “The Thames-Coromandel area is currently experiencing higher than projected population growth from net migration as people look to districts, such as the Coromandel, for more affordable housing options and an improved lifestyle.”

Sammons said central Whitianga needed more residential accommodation – both for ownership and rental investment, for those entering the first rung of the town’s property market seeking ‘affordable’ dwellings, and to house the area’s short and medium-term itinerant workforce.

“This need is evidenced by the fact that the former motel units within the Mill Road site are currently running at near 100-percent capacity – tenanted by a mix of professional people now working in Whitianga, and local skilled tradies working on residential projects in and around the town,” she said.

Click here for more information on the listing.

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