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Sale of Tauranga church site a godsend for developers

A large former church property could be the answer to developers’ prayers as buyers eye the site for a possible multistorey residential or commercial project.

The Lighthouse Presbyterian Church was for decades a hub of community life in the Tauranga suburb of Welcome Bay.

Now surplus to church requirements, the more than 8,000-square-metre property is a godsend for buyers as the only undeveloped commercial site in a growing area which is relatively underserved with commercial amenities.

On offer with vacant possession, the sizeable landholding and its flexible development-friendly zoning provide excellent scope and scale for immediate development with an intensive mixed-use commercial/residential complex.

The freehold land and buildings at 260 Welcome Bay Road, Welcome Bay, Tauranga, are being marketed for sale through Brendon Bradley, Ryan Bradley and Simon Maxwell of Bayleys Tauranga.

Sale is by way of a tender closing on Thursday 10 August, unless the property is sold earlier.

Brendon Bradley said the property comprised a fee simple, commercial-zoned landholding of some 8,106 square metres along with buildings with a total floor area of approximately 500 square metres.

“The buildings consist of a single-storey church dating to the 1980s with subsequent additions, plus a detached garage added in the 2000s.

“The main church building features an entry foyer, chapel and creche, along with two offices, a kitchen, a rear meeting room with two storage areas, and three toilet rooms.

“These buildings sit at the northwest entrance to the property, while the balance of the land is a large greenfield area with boundary fencing.

“There is some potential to repurpose and occupy or lease the property for the likes of a community or educational facility.

“However, by far the site’s biggest attraction for future-looking buyers is its superb potential for a substantial residential and/or commercial development project,” said Brendon Bradley.

Ryan Bradley said Commercial (8A) zoning under the Tauranga City Plan provided for a myriad of possible future uses.

“These range from intensive development with apartments or townhouses and ancillary retail and offices, through to visitor accommodation, community facilities and school and tertiary education premises.

“Many of the attributes that made this site well suited for a church – underpinned by a high-profile and highly accessible landholding at the heart of a large residential catchment – are also blessings for future commercial use.

“Rising moderately from the road, the land provides elevation and potential water views for a future development. All the usual utilities are available to the site.

“The land is strategically positioned on a key arterial transport corridor with nearly 170 metres of frontage to Welcome Bay Road providing huge profile to passing traffic,” said Ryan Bradley.

The site for sale sits alongside the Welcome Bay Shopping Centre, with neighbours including a Four Square store, a pharmacy and a sports bar, as well as a Caltex service station. The Welcome Bay Community Centre and a Plunket facility are also nearby.

Maxwell said the property’s city-fringe position within growing Tauranga was a key attraction.

“Located around seven kilometres from central Tauranga, Welcome Bay is a predominantly residential suburb within easy reach of major city amenities and the popular beaches at Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, as well as some of the city’s best walking and cycling tracks.

“The success of any future development here will be underpinned by Tauranga’s status as one of New Zealand’s fastest growing cities. The current population of over 120,000 is projected to pass 140,000 by 2026, feeding demand for well-located residential and commercial accommodation,” Maxwell said.

Click here for more information on the listing.

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