Ikea NZ: Sylvia Park jumps train tracks to head east, Swedish giant buying 3.5ha Kiwi site

New Zealand’s first Ikea store is planned for a 3.5ha site across the North Island main trunk line from Sylvia Park.

The move east will be the park’s biggest expansion when Ikea opens.

But first, Ikea needs Overseas Investment Office consent to buy the land and its purchase is conditional on Auckland Council resource consent.

Both are likely, given the landowner’s experience with such large-format retail development, Overseas Investment Act expertise and knowledge of council consenting requirements.

Clive Mackenzie, chief executive of land vendor NZX-listed Kiwi Property Group, explained the details of the Ikea transaction to the Herald this afternoon.

This Herald graphic shows where Ikea will be and a pink area, marked as a lifestyle centre, which Kiwi also announced today.

“The site we have conditionally sold to Ikea is 3.2ha. Currently, there are some light industrial buildings with a variety of tenants. [The sale is] conditional on resource consent for them and the Overseas Investment Office,” Mackenzie said today.

Ikea’s site is directly opposite the back of Farmers, beside The Warehouse, but surprisingly on the other side of the train tracks.

That significantly pushes New Zealand’s biggest shopping centre southeast, spanning a vast 35ha, including the Sylvia Park Lifestyle Centre across the Mt Wellington Highway from the main mall.

Asked what is like dealing with Ikea over so many years, Mackenzie said: “I prefer not to get into the details around negotiation. It’s a complicated transaction. It’s a large piece of land. There are always complications. These things take time.”

Did he talk to Sweden or Australia? He wouldn’t say.

Sylvia Park has 5000 car parks but Ikea will need to build hundreds more for its shoppers and its store could be in the 35,000sq m range, or 3ha of indoor floor space on a number of levels.

Ikea hasn’t said exactly how big its store will be.

Mackenzie said a variety of industrial tenants lease the land now, including Phil Good Motors, which trades from 10 Clemow Drive on a site owned by Sylvia Park Business Centre. That street runs off Carbine Rd and loops under State Highway 1. Els Distribution leases a site opposite the motor business.

Ikea will partly front the newly created Te Ahoterangi Rise, which will run from Carbine Rd into the entry to Ikea’s car park, which shows just how far down the track Kiwi has already got negotiating with Auckland Council and Auckland Transport for the Ikea to meet pre-consent conditions.

“We’ve owned the land on this side of the railway tracks for some time. The company’s been amassing that over a period of time,” Mackenzie said today.

Ikea customers will access the new store off Carbine Rd.

“As part of the resource consent process, there will be additional roading works to be done. But there’s a bus interchange and train station there already,” Mackenzie said, keen to stress public transport links.

“This is all part of a journey for Sylvia Park to become a world-leading mixed-use development site with potentially Ikea opening a store, it just cements the site as a fantastic retail location for the whole of New Zealand,” he said.

Separately, Kiwi will build a new shopping centre near the new Ikea, also on the Carbine Rd side of the North Island main trunk line.

Kiwi has this on its plans as “LFR”, which stands for large format retail.

“Separately, we will build 6432sq m of large-format retail for Kiwi Property, adjacent to the site for Ikea if they chose to build a store. It’s adjacent to the site we’ve sold to Ikea. It will be similar to what we’ve got at Westgate, across the road from Sylvia Park at Sylvia Park Lifestyle Centre,” Mackenzie said today.

Construction was also under way on Kiwi’s build-to-rent apartments and a second office building on Te Kehu Way, Mackenzie said.

Train passengers would use the bridge across the top of the tracks to access Ikea, and there are no plans to expand the station.

Kiwi which has a market cap of $1.7b. It is today trading at $1.16, up from $1.15 earlier this week.

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