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Strategic landholding sandwiched between massive urban development project now up for sale

The 11.92-hectare block at Ohinewai – some five kilometres north of Huntly - in the Northern Waikato – is surrounded by land earmarked for the 176-hectare Sleepyhead estate being built by the mattress and bed manufacturer.

Plans unveiled for the $1.2 billion Sleepyhead estate encompass a massive warehousing and manufacturing complex adjacent to some 1,100 new homes sustaining a predicted community of 3,000 people – all to be built over a 10-year phased project.

The landholding for sale comprises three titles, and borders the North Island main trunk rail line, Lumsden Road, and Tahuna Road. Ohinewai sits immediately alongside the Waikato Expressway portion of State Highway One mid-way between Auckland and Hamilton.

In May this year, independent planning commissioners appointed by Waikato District Council approved the application by Sleepyhead subsidiary Ambury Properties to rezone its Ohinewai landholding from a rural classification to three mixed-use designations specific to the locale.

The council’s new Ohinewai Zone encompasses three defined land usage parameters – a residential precinct, a business precinct, and an industrial precinct - allowing for the establishment of the full gamut of properties required to sustain Sleepyhead’s manufacturing operations and township masterplan.

The planning commissioners noted that Sleepyhead’s development would bring “significant economic, social and employment benefits to an area where there is limited job opportunities and affordable housing choices.”

Any potential appeals to the Environment Court on the council’s ruling must be filed by the middle of July. Initial landscaping and earth-moving work to prepare for the installation of roading and utility services has already begun on the project.

Now the combined landholding at 1, 52 and 56 Lumsden Road has been placed on the market for sale by tender through Bayleys Hamilton, with the tender process closing on July 29. Salespeople Josh Smith and David Cashmore said the three lots individually ranged in size from 2,551-square metres up to 10.87-hectares.

The property for sale sits within the industrial and business precincts identified by Sleepyhead in its development masterplan lodged with Waikato District Council.

Waikato District Council’s current industrial land classification allows for an extensive range of industrial and service activities – including industrial warehousing premises, service station operations, vehicle repair workshops, and non-retail trade-based units for occupation by the likes of plumbing, electrical and carpentry businesses.

Smith said that while final council approval for the pending Ohinewai Zone precedent was subject to an appeal, the two bigger parcels of land for sale at Lumsden Road were also in the process of consequently achieving a similar zoning - allowing for the site to be developed in conjunction with the neighbouring Sleepyhead precinct.

The two bigger blocks at 52 Lumsden Road and 56 Lumsden Road each contain four-bedroom homes. The strategically positioned land is currently used for stock feed production.

“With their mostly flat topography and existing vehicle access point off Lumsden Road, the sites could be utilised by construction firms involved in the building of the neighbouring Sleepyhead precinct,” he said.

“The homes could operate as ready-made spacious office premises with existing bathroom and kitchen staff amenities, while the surrounding bare land could be employed for vehicle and building supplies storage.

“Effectively, as they adjoin the Sleepyhead development land, the potential yards and office premises would be efficient on-site amenities.”

Smith said the smallest portion of the block for sale was still zoned rural 1A, but any new owner could apply for a rezoning of that site.

Cashmore said the Ohinewai rezoning process undertaken by Ambury Properties also opened up the potential for a new owner of the Lumsden Road sites to apply for a business use designation for some or part of the landholding.

“Under that umbrella master-plan type arrangement, should a new owner of the blocks seek a business use zoning, the Lumsden Road land could sustain the likes of a small supermarket, a preschool childcare centre, convenience food outlets, a vehicle repair garage, or a mid-size fuel stop… all of which would be well-patronised by residents of ‘Sleepyhead town’,” Cashmore said.

“Of course, any of these activities would also benefit from being located along the extensive road frontages on Lumsden Road – allowing for multiple entry and exit points.”

Click here for more information on the listing.

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