The land and building housing a deconsecrated church surrounded by multiple sporting and recreational amenities in one of the North Shore’s prime coastal residential suburbs have been placed on the market for sale.
St Luke’s Catholic church on corner of Bayswater Avenue and Rosyth Avenue in Bayswater was built in the 1960s as the area’s population was expanding at a rapid rate.
At that time, St Luke’s was the mid-way church for parishioners who had previously travelled to either Devonport or Takapuna to attend religious ceremonies under the Catholic faith.
However, with the North Shore’s population and infrastructure expanding immensely over the ensuing years, and churchgoers finding it easier to travel a few kilometres further than they did half a decade ago, St Luke’s attendance numbers fell to a level where the diocese deemed the place of worship surplus to requirements.
The 310 square metre church building on some 3,142 square metres of freehold land zoned Residential – Mixed Housing Urban under the Auckland Council plan, has remained dormant for several years since closing. As the physical former place of worship premises is relatively ‘new’ by church standards, the building has no heritage or cultural values linked to its council records.
The rectangular-shaped property at 1D Rosyth Avenue is now being marketed for sale by tender through Barfoot & Thompson North Shore, with tenders closing on April 28. Barfoot & Thompson North Shore’s Simon Farland, Bruce Jiao, and Lance Richardson are the team marketing the property. They advise that the church property’s location in the middle of a residential suburb meant it was prime for redevelopment into medium density housing.
Simon Farland said the Rosyth Road property was superbly located to enjoy an abundance of sporting and recreational amenities on its doorstep – including the Belmont Racquets tennis courts on one boundary, the expanse of Bayswater Park playing fields directly over the road, a lawn bowls club around the corner, and the Devonport/Takapuna cycle and walking trail some 150 metres away.
“While the actual church building appears to be in good condition, feedback from the market so far is that it is unlikely to have any perceived long-term value for most future owners. The site would undoubtedly be perceived as a development opportunity for more intensive residential use,” said Simon Farland.
“The physical positioning of the church on just one corner of the land also means that demolition costs would be minimal, and removal of the premises could be done expediently to minimise any disturbance to the neighbourhood.
“However, it would be a heartening and community-spirited gesture to think any redevelopment of the site would pay credence in some way to the former St Luke’s church, acknowledging its presence even after the actual building may be removed.”
Farland added that with no residential neighbours adjoining the site and some 150 metres of direct street frontage on two sides, height-to-boundary development regulations at 1D Rosyth Avenue would make it relatively easy for an architect to configure the most cost-effective density of dwelling sizes and positions for the land.
“The dual street frontage aspect for 1D Rosyth Avenue also allows for two vehicle access points to the location. The flat contour of the corner property equates to lower site development costs – which would be further enhanced by immediate access to all utility services such as electricity, gas, telecommunications, and water services.”
“While there are examples of in-fill housing development projects taking place on the Bayswater periphery – such as at several addresses in nearby Belmont’s Williamson Avenue – there has certainly been nothing of this substantial scale come onto the market in Bayswater for decades.”
Auckland Council’s Residential – Mixed Housing Urban zone allows for “a greater intensity of development than previously provided for.” Detached stand-alone and terraced units within the land classification can be built up to three storeys (or 12 metres high) with design concepts aimed at enhancing the residential urban aesthetics of the exiting neighbourhood feel.
The council’s development guidelines also pay credence to the importance of such new residential enclaves being surrounded by open spaces.
“This Bayswater site certainly meets those criteria – overlooking the fields and children’s playground at Bayswater. And with the 12 metre height allowance, residences would also have excellent views of both Shoal Bay and Ngataringa Bay depending on their aspects – with no immediate neighbouring residential property rooftops to look over,” said Bruce Jiao Jiao.
“The appeal of any new housing development on the Bayswater Avenue and Rosyth Avenue would be underpinned by access to numerous public transport options – with a bus route running directly outside the address, and the Bayswater ferry terminal just a short walk away at the end of the road.”
“The precedent for tasteful medium-density urban housing development projects can be seen most obviously in the likes of the planned communities at Hobsonville Point or Stonefields,” added Lance Richardson. “Or in the scores of smaller residential intensification projects which have been undertaken across Auckland under the auspices of the Auckland Unitary Plan and its call for better use of land within the existing metropolitan urban boundaries.”
Bayswater was named in the late 1800s after the London suburb of the same name. The name also coincided the suburb’s seaside geographic location directly across from Auckland’s CBD.
For further information contact the Barfoot & Thompson North Shore team:- Simon Farland 021 779 922, email@example.com, Bruce Jiao 021 818 077, firstname.lastname@example.org or Lance Richardson 021 796 660, email@example.com.