Jockey club land for sale to pay down debt
A piece of Avondale history is up for sale.
The Avondale Jockey Club is selling a 9700sqm parcel of land formerly used for stables and parking.
It is currently covered in bush.
The club is hoping to recover some of the debt it is in after attempting to launch night racing in 1987.
Building an additional stand and putting up lighting towers cost the club $8 million but the venture wasn’t as successful as hoped and still remains nearly $3 million in the red.
The club has sold off portions of land in the past and with a dire need for housing in Auckland, president Graham Wakefield says it’s never been a better time to sell. Subdivision was approved by Auckland Council after 18 months of deliberations and tenders for the sale are open until May 15.
Under the operative Auckland District Plan the land is zoned as ‘‘residential five’’ but the club is applying to have the land deemed a special housing area.
This means the land would become a mixed housing suburban zone under the Unitary Plan and would allow further intensification in a shorter period of time.
The club says the land could contain 28 terraced or semi-detached houses with an extended entrance from Sandy Lane.
With the intensification opportunity and increasing Auckland land and property prices, Wakefield is confident the sale will clear the remaining debt with some left over for refurbishments.
Although covered in brush now the land was originally leased by people using the stables before being turned into a car park.
‘‘It’s hard to imagine now but at the races in the 60s the land was covered in cars and buses,’’ Wakefield says.
‘‘We don’t get audiences like that these days because things have evolved,’’ he says.
‘‘With trackside television people stay home and use the internet if they want to put on a bet.’’
Some of the biggest users of the land today are the Avondale Market and the council, which leases the grassed area for sports. The land sale won’t affect either, Wakefield says.
For sale: The Avondale Jockey Club is selling the land that is covered in bush, marked in red.
Prime estate: Avondale Jockey Club president Graham Wakefield along the fence line where the club is selling pieces of its land.