The development – tentatively named The Alba – sits on approximately 3927sqm of land overlooking Dairy Flat Highway in Albany village on Auckland’s North Shore. The consented plans allow for the construction of seven five-storey blocks with retail units at street level, commercial offices on the first floor, and apartments on the upper three levels.
The six retail sites range in size from 158sqm up to 290sqm, while the commercial premises range in size from 205sqm up to 310sqm. The office premises are being promoted as professional open-plan urban work spaces.
The land and consented development plans for The Alba are being marketed for sale by Bayleys Long Bay through a tender process closing on August 26. Bayleys Long Bay salesperson, Gary Douglas, says The Alba will be at the bow wave of modernising Albany township.
“While there are plans for yet to be built mid-rise commercial and mixed-use commercial/residential blocks elsewhere around Greater Albany, nothing like The Alba has been brought to the market so far. It’s far more boutique and of low-rise intensity based around an existing and very mature social infrastructure,” Douglas says.
“Albany basin to the south of Albany township has undergone an incredible metamorphosis over the past 15 years – firstly through the development of bulk retail premises and commercial offices, then through the arrival of Westfield Albany, the Events cinema complex, and then the ensuing residential blocks.”
Layout and design plans for The Alba complex have Dairy Flat Highway linking through a lane-style pedestrian and vehicular access to the rear of the development overlooking Kell Park.
“As part of the consenting approval process, the approved development proposal opens up Kell Park’s potential as Albany town centre’s recreational zone. Frontage onto the park will be appealing for retail premises with a food and beverage focus,” Douglas says.
Douglas is of the opinion The Alba’s retail premises will appeal to neighbourhood-focused food and beverage operators, which will complement and add to the existing ethnically-orientated food offerings currently operating in Albany village.
“Nearby Albany Mall food court and the handful of licensed bars and restaurants along its boulevard perimeter cater well for ‘visiting’ clientele shopping during the day or attending the neighbouring Events Cinema complex at night,” he says.
“The vision is that The Alba’s hospitality tenancies will be more targeted toward Albany village, Albany basin and Paremoremo locals, along with those new residents who will be living in the apartments above, as a neighbourhood type hub.”
Douglas adds that the The Alba’s current developer envisages commercial tenants for the level above will most likely come from the professional services sector such as architectural design, digital creative, accounting, and company consulting disciplines.
“North Shore office premises in the Rosedale, Constellation Dr, Corinthian Dr and Takapuna commercial precincts are just that – purely commercial. They don’t enjoy the same residential and retail blend being found at The Alba, which would almost suit a ‘work from home’ scenario if combined with apartment ownership above,” he points out.
“With technology and digital communications now supporting a much more fluid workplace environment along with smaller businesses choosing to be based outside of congested city and city fringe centres, destinations like Albany village present exciting opportunities as identified by the inclusion of commercial premises in the development plans.”
Douglas says that while the three-pronged development plans being sold in conjunction with The Alba land had already been approved by Auckland Council, there is nothing to stop potential purchasers buying the land and submitting alternative building options which could contain greater or higher residential intensification options.
The land is currently tenanted by a range of trading businesses, including a boat yard, cafe, physiotherapy treatment rooms, and commercial offices. All have various tenancy terms expiring next year, with the potential of extending those out on month-by-month leases. Combined, the multiple tenancies generate rental income of $200,000 per annum.