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NEW ZEALAND, 18 MAY 2010 – The ideal site for a retirement village or aged-care facility, immediately neighbouring the Westgate Shopping Centre in West Auckland and adjoining State Highway 16, has been put up for sale in the form of a large piece of land known locally as McWhirter Farm.
"This site off Royal Rd, with a working environment zoning, had a rural backdrop not very many years ago, but is now in an emerging growth area with strong development opportunities," says Nick Hargreaves of Jones Lang LaSalle, who is marketing the property.
He says a portion of the farm, with underlying residential zoning, has already been developed into housing and commercial centres.
"We are now seeking expressions of interest for the purchase of this 10.26ha site which would suit investors with a long-term outlook towards development, perhaps experienced in aged-care or retirement village development opportunities," Hargreaves says.
"The owners have resisted many offers to purchase the property over the years because they want to see it developed in a carefully planned manner with the best possible outcome for the local community and surrounding area."
The land was bought by George McWhirter in the late 1960s and has been largely occupied for farming activities by the McWhirter family.
"The Long family, who include relatives of Mr McWhirter, acquired full beneficial ownership through trust structures in 2000 by buying the other half-share of the property owned by the McWhirter family," Hargreaves says.
"The owners therefore have a very long association with the property."
Over the years, during which the property was used for the grazing of cattle and horses, the Long family progressed plans and a resource consent for a residential subdivision of the Royal Rd end of the property comprising about 5ha of land.
Consent for the subdivision was issued in late 2006 and a 51-lot subdivision was completed in 2008 which is being progressively sold.
In 2007 a resource consent was obtained for the roading and subdivision of the 15ha residue of the land, including future road and recreational reserves, into several large allotments enabling the construction of a direct road link to Westgate Shopping Centre.
"The area has been set aside for medium-density residential purposes which is seen as compatible with a lifestyle or retirement village," Hargreaves says.
"A piece of adjoining land zoned working environment has been retained for investment purposes with a view to a commercial development."
Hargreaves says the Massey North-Westgate area is poised to become a new satellite suburb for Auckland with plans for a 160ha town commercial centre.
"Westgate Shopping Centre is already one of the most commercially successful developments in Waitakere City.
"Massey North is located on the edge of the northwestern motorway (SH16) and the Hobsonville Rd (SH18), which has made it very accessible - being linked by motorway to the Auckland CBD, North Shore, eastern and southern suburbs. It's a 15-minute drive into the city at non-peak times.
"Employment opportunities in the existing and future city centre area and industrial developments planned for the north will provide for 7200 new jobs or more. The area is inside of the Metropolitan Urban Limit that defines the edge of the city.
"Waitakere City has applied for the limit of the urban area here to be extended in order for the existing Westgate shopping centre to be developed to become part of a major regional centre with a full range of additional services."
Hargreaves says major new motorway connections or links are either under construction or starting soon.
"The motorway-to-motorway connection between a new Upper Harbour motorway and the northwestern motorway at Westgate is under construction, which will create an alternative route between Auckland City and the North Shore through West Auckland.
"Once completed SH18 will provide a direct motorway link to the new Upper Harbour Bridge connecting to North Shore City and passing through the developing residential areas of Greenhithe and Hobsonville. An extension of the northwestern motorway to Brigham Creek Rd towards Kumeu is also planned."
Hargreaves says a new public transport infrastructure and improved bus services are envisaged for the area to enable people to travel easily between Westgate, Kumeu, Hobsonville, Henderson, Auckland City and North Shore City.
"As more people will be living and working in and around the new town centre close by, improved public transport and bus services will provide a better commuting option and also cut down on traffic congestion."
By Colin Taylor
(09) 914 9761