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Auckland CBD site sells for big price

Tags: Commercial

Part of an Auckland CBD site which was previously home to the New Zealand Herald for over 150 years has sold for $31 million at a land value of $28,181 per sq m.

The sale of approximately 1,100 sq m of land on the corner of Albert and Wyndham Streets by Mansons TCLM to Australian company Pro-Invest Developments settled last week. The Sydney headquartered company is planning a 490-room dual branded hotel development of around 37 levels on the site.

The sale was negotiated by Bayleys senior broker Paul Hain in conjunction with Nick Thompson, Bayleys’ director of hotels.

Paul Hain says the transaction will enable a 22,500 sq m hotel building to be developed on the Wydnham and Albert St corner portion of the 4,258 sq m former Herald site which Mansons originally put up for sale. “While the sale agreement was negotiated last year, settlement was contingent on the issuing of a new standalone title for the land which Pro-Invest has purchased. This will now allow them to proceed with the construction of the hotel.”

Mansons TCLM director Culum Manson says all of the former 15,000 sq m of Herald buildings on the site have been demolished. He confirmed Mansons is intending to develop a low rise, large format CBD office building of 25,000-30,000 sq m on the remaining 3,158 sq m of land which also has frontage onto Mills Lane.

“We are currently in the design and resource consent planning phase for this building which will be similar to our other recent office developments, with very large individual floor areas which are popular with tenants.”

The property was vacated by the New Zealand Herald in 2015 when parent company NZME relocated all of its Auckland media operations into a new CBD office complex developed by Mansons on the corner of Victoria Street West and Graham Street.

The Herald’s occupation of the site dated back to when it was founded in 1853 and for 120 years the paper was written, compiled and printed here until the printing was relocated to Ellerslie in the 1980s. The editorial, advertising and administrative departments, however, remained on the premises until their relocation to the new NZME Central hub premises in Graham Street.

Nick Thompson says the sale is one of a number of Auckland CBD hotel development sites that Bayleys’ hotel division has sold or has under contract at a total transaction value of over $100 million.

“We are receiving continuing enquiry from off shore investors for quality hotel development sites in Auckland in particular with interest heightened by major forthcoming events such as the America’s Cup and APEC Leaders' Summit.”

Pro-invest Development announced last year that the new hotel, which will have its main entrance off Wyndham St, will accommodate two InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) brands.

Managing director Tim Sherlock said there would be 290 Holiday Inn Express rooms on the lower levels and 200 EVEN hotel rooms on the upper levels which Pro-Invest will develop, own and manage under a franchise agreement with IHG.

EVEN Hotel Auckland, will be the first outside of North America, and also the first in Pro-Invest Group’s plans for a portfolio of 10-15 EVEN Hotels in Australasia, in partnership with IHG. IHG has developed the brand in response to what it says is a consumer shift toward holistic wellness – especially as it relates to travel. Features of the hotel include best-in-class fitness facilities, in-room exercise zones and nutritionally-designed menus, with fresh and organic, ethically-sourced foods.

Jan Smits, IHG’s chief executive officer for Asia Middle East and Africa, said wellness travel is a rapidly growing global phenomenon. “With EVEN Hotels, we have a created a brand that will deliver a local wellness experience to travellers for whom health and wellbeing is so important. I firmly believe that the EVEN Hotels brand will be a key driver in market share growth in New Zealand and Australia.”

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