Lambton Quay sale ‘up in the air’
A sale of prime Wellington CBD development land is literally “up in the air”.
Colliers International is selling 2 Lambton Quay, a property that includes air rights to build above the neighbouring bus interchange and substation at the bottom of Mulgrave St.
Colliers director Richard Findlay says the two plots total 2462sq m freehold, plus adjoining air rights to develop the space above the adjoining bus station.
Mr Findlay says it was early days in marketing the site but there had been much interest from Wellingtonians and Aucklanders, plus a couple from overseas.
He has been in property industry for more than 20 years and says he had rarely seen sales that come with air rights.
“These air rights take quite a bit to get your head around. The sale might be unique if someone recognises the air rights and puts a value on them. We haven’t talked prices with buyers.
“The freehold site has the right to take the other 1200sq m of air right next door. It means the bus station can continue to operate and have buildings built above,” he says.
The property has a government CV of $6.4 milion.
Mr Findlay says the site is prime Wellington land close to the train station and the Beehive. There has been government and corporate interest in the property, which has been earmarked for redevelopment.
Previous plans have included a $196 million 14-storey Kate Sheppard Exchange office block, which has been ruled out by city commissioners for being too tall and bulky to justify an exemption from city building height rules.
It was slated to be the home of the Ministry of Social Development but other neighbouring government agencies and local residents opposed the plans. They have since been scaled back and need resource consent.
The property has owners including Redwood group director Tony Gapes, Auckland investor Chong du Cheng and controversial Maori leader Sir Ngatata Love.
However, the government is less keen on taking up prime office space. “That is why the owners are selling to reinvest money in Auckland,” Mr Findlay says.
The sale by private treaty closes on November 6.