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Roading improvements and fine weather spark up interest in coastal town’s commercial and industrial real estate

New transport infrastructure and a long-overdue full-on Kiwi summer have reinvigorated interest in the Coromandel residential property market, according to one of the area’s leading commercial real estate salespeople.

Josh Smith of Bayleys Whitianga says that the reopening of State Highway 25A, combined with weeks of long hot summer days, have brought back not only large numbers of tourists and holiday makers to the town since December, but has also underpinned a renewed interest in the locale’s future viability.

“The amount of positivity which Whitianga’s business and commercial sector have experienced over recent months is in stark contrast to the sentiment being expressed in the early to middle stages of last year – particularly in light of Cyclone Gabrielle and the effect that had on the region,” Smith said.

State Highway 25A between Kōpū and Hikuai was closed in January last year due to a significant slip on the road, with remediation construction of a new bridge along this ‘lifeline’ route for the Eastern Coromandel confirmed in June 2023 as a matter of high priority.

Initially, Waka Kotahi NZTA expected the completion date of the repairs and bridge rebuilding to be the end of March 2024. Thanks to outstanding work and construction scheduling, the new road and bridge was opened in the days leading up to Christmas – thereby restoring normal traffic flows to the towns of Whitianga, Tairua, and Pauanui which rely heavily on the summer tourism spend

And the tourists responded accordingly – reflecting a ‘pent-up’ demand for the area’s magnificent beaches and attractions. As an example, tourism operator Cathedral Cove Scenic Cruises conducted 12 trips on the sea in January last year. This year, basking in the sunshine, the aquatic tour company achieved that number of sailings in the first four days of the month alone.

Sustaining the new wave of positivity sweeping through Whitianga, Mercury Bay Business Association head Lynda Grant has a message: "We are open and there's still plenty of summer left."

Much of the Coromandel’s economic resurgence can be attributed to the Regional Events Fund which has been accessed by numerous community organisations promoting cultural and sporting events – and increasing tourism numbers as a consequence.

The fund is particularly conscious about supporting events which attract domestic visitor numbers from outside its borders of the Coromandel and Hauraki districts – with an awareness on the Auckland, Bay of Plenty, and Waikato regions.

Applications to the fund are assessed under four criteria:

  1. Cultural - increasing Iwi and community engagement

  2. Social - enhancing community spirit, improving job opportunities for residents, and fostering a sense of place and pride among residents

  3. Environmental - striving to be environmentally friendly and

  4. Economic - increasing visitation and visitor spending, and particularly increasing awareness of the Pacific Coast Highway.

Amply showcasing the potential for Whitianga’s urban expansion now that life has returned to normal for much of the town, is the sale of some 42 sites within what will be one of the biggest new industrial hubs being built on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Located on the outskirts of Whitianga, the substantial 15.9-hectare block is being subdivided into 42 lots – ranging in size from 1,000-square metres up to 9,775-square metres. The lots are being marketed for sale by negotiation through Josh Smith of Bayleys Whitianga.

The current flat greenfield land at 142 Moewai Road sits adjacent to Whitianga’s existing urban limit – having a minimal impact on the closest residential dwellings to the inland location some distance away.

Titles for the 42 lots are expected to be issued in early 2025 – giving purchasers who get in early ample time to apply for relevant council consents. A roading network running through the middle of the block will be built during the intervening period.

“Industrial lots in Whitianga have always been in high demand due to their scarcity.Early bird purchasers within the 142 Moewai Road precinct will benefit from having the pick of any of the lots – with the variety of lot sizes specifically designed to offer a wide variety of building options to be undertaken. from small workshops and ‘tradie’ premises right up to larger manufacturing plants and small warehousing units.

“For purchasers looking for even bigger lots, there is of course the option to purchase neighbouring sites for a combined larger footprint.

“Development of the Moewai Road block will appeal to owner-occupiers already in the town’s smaller industrial properties closer to Whitianga’s central business district, as well as attracting investors from outside of the area interested in taking a long-term view of the site, similar to how the town’s Whitianga Waterways residential precinct had evolved over several decades,” he said.

“Scaled residential expansion of Whitianga is already underway in other parts of the urban boundary where former farmland has been rezoned for new residential enclave – such as land along State Highway 25s. This land at 142 Moewai Road dovetails along with that growth to deliver the necessary service infrastructure required to sustain a prosperous regional economy.

“With the creation of big-box retail hubs and ‘tradie’ concentrations, greenfield land such as Moewai Road is the preferred development option as it provides the space and scale required to build industrial zoned destinations efficiently, cost-effectively, and cohesively.”

Smith said that with such a multitude of lots on offer, the Moewai Road industrial precinct could become a specialist destination for mechanical servicing and engineering focused tenancies.

“The locale could encompass the likes of an automotive services hub or units for builders and construction trades-based companies seeking premises sized around 350-square metres,” he said.

“Or we could see the emergence of a marine services hub which could feature workspaces to service the multitude of boats and leisure marine craft based out of Whitianga.”

Click here for more information on the listing.

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