A renowned garden centre site for sale on Auckland’s North Shore is tipped to sprout a landmark residential or mixed-use project in a ‘once-in-a-generation’ redevelopment opportunity.
The standout site fronting Forrest Hill, Nile and Wairau roads at a key intersection in Milford, was well known among gardeners for almost 30 years as the home of one of the country’s first Kings Plant Barn stores.
At over 5,300 square metres, the intensively zoned freehold landholding represents one of the largest privately-owned properties by land area in Milford.
With a pending consent for a substantial residential complex in the coveted “Double Westlake” zone for enrolment at Westlake Boys and Westlake Girls high schools, it is considered one of the best local development sites to come onto the market in many years.
With the Kings Plant Barn store now relocated to nearby Wairau Valley, the Milford property has been repurposed into a distribution centre servicing other Kings Plant Barn garden centres. The site generates an annual net rental return of $210,000 plus outgoings and GST.
The freehold land and buildings at 1 Forrest Hill Road and 4 Nile Road, Milford, Auckland, are being marketed for sale through Steven Liu, Michael Nees and Jayson Hayde of Bayleys North Shore Commercial.
Sale is by deadline private treaty closing on Thursday 28 September, unless the property is sold earlier.
Liu said the site offered a total land area of some 5,344 square metres across two fee simple titles.
“The nearly 4,400-square-metre landholding at 1 Forrest Hill Road is zoned Business – Mixed Use under the Auckland Unitary Plan, a flexible designation which enables intensive residential or mixed residential and small-scale commercial development typically up to four storeys.
“At approximately 946 square metres, 4 Nile Road forms part of the Residential – Mixed Housing Urban zone. This allows for intensification with buildings typically up to three storeys in various sizes and forms, such as detached dwellings, terraced housing and low-rise apartments,” said Liu.
Nees said the allowable intensity could increase under Auckland Council’s preliminary response to the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, and was currently under review given the property’s proximity to Smales Farm Bus Station.
“A new owner will also have the benefit of a pending consent for residential development, with possible projects configured with multiple homes in forms such as terraced houses, townhouses and apartments.
“There is the possibility for a buyer to gain vacant possession of the property from late 2024, or the vendor is open to other options such as a deferred settlement,” said Nees.
Bayleys North Shore Commercial General Manager Jayson Hayde said the Milford site offered compelling advantages and scarcity value for developers.
“For many years the home of an iconic Kiwi garden centre chain, this is now fertile ground for a landmark residential or mixed-use project.
“Suburban infill sites of this size in premium North Shore locations are extremely scarce. Combined with the intensive zoning, this makes this a special once-in-a-generation market offering and redevelopment prospect in Milford.
“Any development here will benefit from its proximity to the Wairau Valley commercial hub and Milford and Takapuna town centres, with all their amenities. The area’s high socio-economic demographic, being a Baby Boomer stronghold, and access to respected schools also make it a prime sell-down market for a medium to high-end residential project,” Hayde said.
Smales Farm and North Shore Hospital are also nearby. The site is handy to public transport networks, including Smales Farm Bus Station, and Auckland’s CBD is around 15 minutes’ drive away in non-peak traffic.