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News Release


Apartment developments to change dynamic of Browns Bay retail demand



Long term investment with development potential/new-zealand/en-gb/news/916/long-term-investment-with-development-potentialAUCKLANDLong term investment with development potential
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​​​Norfolk Apartments Browns Bay.jpgWith the increasing intensity of the proposed unitary plan allowing for much higher density of development, the supply pipeline for apartment complexes in Browns Bay on Auckland’s North Shore is significantly strengthening and is set to change the demand for retail in the area.

Previously Browns Bay was considered a low rise suburban seaside suburb where the current regime only allowed for a maximum height of 12.5 metres, equivalent to four storeys high. Under the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, buildings will be permitted to be constructed up to eight storeys which will provide sea views, and according to commercial property experts JLL, is the reason for the increasing number of apartment complexes in the pipeline.  

JJ Hong, JLL’s retail sales and leasing specialist for the North Shore region says “People living in apartments rely on the soft infrastructure in their day-to-day living and this includes high street retail. Apartment dwellers tend to eat out more, do smaller grocery shops and spend more on entertainment bars, nightlife etc. We expect mainly convenience and service based retail in the Browns Bay area will likely benefit, such as the Browns Bay retail development, developed by Aubrey Edwards and leased by the JJ retail team on Anzac Avenue which currently provides a childcare centre, gymnasium, butcher and chiropractor.”

Recently completed in Browns Bay is the Norfolk Apartments on 19-21 Bute Road which will add an additional 42 residential units. Currently under construction is The Pines Apartments on 23-25 Bute Road and the Arran Road Houses on Arran Road which when combined, will add a further 56 residential dwellings to the area. In the planning stages are the Anzac Lofts on Anzac Avenue adding 41 residential dwellings, the proposed Sartors Avenue subdivision and the Bute Road special housing area which combined, will add an additional 88 apartments. 

“There is long-term stable demand for apartments in Browns Bay due to the combination of a growing population and the increasing acceptance of apartments as a viable accommodation option. The current apartment development pipeline in Browns Bay could potentially represent 229 dwellings,” adds Hong.

“There has been a move in the market toward apartments and we are just seeing the beginning of a long-term building boom for Browns Bay as evidenced by the increasing supply pipeline for apartment complexes. We expect to see several more developments added to that pipeline in the near future as the area becomes more popular.”

Population projections undertaken by Statistics New Zealand and JLL research and consulting forecast there to be a 38% increase in people living in Browns Bay by 2043. The increasing population of Browns Bay and the higher density will result in more retail operators required to service the rising population of the area and consequently the dynamic around the retail demand will evolve.

Vaughn Foster of Tasman Cook, the developer heading the Pines and Norfolk Apartment projects in Browns Bay, has sold all 94 of the apartments and 4 retail units; with a dentist and physiotherapist  leasing the ground floor retail space under the Norfolk Apartments. Tenants are currently being sought for the retail space under the Pines which will be completed in August 2016.

Hong says, “Under the new unitary plan, developers now have the option to build apartments on Bute Road. These will have fantastic sea views over Browns Bay. We have seen this succeed in other areas around the bays in Auckland, such as Mission Bay and St Helliers for example. The end result will change the face of Browns Bay retail from banal to a much more vibrant retail offering.”

A number of clothing retailers have recently closed down in the Browns Bay area including Art and Soul, Jean Jones, Calypso, Just In Clothing Co and JLL predict trends are towards to new food/eatery and hospitality concepts, artisan based food offerings and independent retailers.​