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A two-level character building in the heart of High Street retail strip in Auckland’s CBD is up for sale offering plenty of options for its next owner.

Located on a 240 sq m freehold site opposite Freyberg Place at 41 High St, the 434 sq m building is for sale semi vacant through Cameron Melhuish, Mike Adams and Simon Davies, Bayleys Auckland.  It is up for tender closing at 4pm June 22, unless sold prior to that date. 

The ground floor was previously occupied by a Marcs fashion store but became vacant following the closure of all Marcs stores in New Zealand after its parent company went into voluntary administration earlier this year.   

The upstairs floor, accessed via stairs off High St, is currently occupied by a tanning clinic on a lease with a final expiry in March 2018 and is currently producing net annual rental income of $61,219.

Mike Adams says the vendor’s decision to offer the property for sale partially occupied with only a short term lease in place on the upper level opens up a myriad of opportunities to a variety of potential purchasers including:

• Investors: “An add value investor could take advantage of strong tenant demand for premises in this location to secure an attractive yield,” says Adams.  “The building has a wide road frontage of 11.8 metres providing excellent exposure to busy High Street.  While up until recently it has been occupied by a single retailer, its width provides the opportunity to subdivide into two smaller retail tenancies. With the upstairs space, the new owner has the option of possibly negotiating a new longer term lease with the existing tenant or securing a new occupant.”

• Owner occupiers: “The new owner could occupy the whole building or occupy one floor and lease the other to help defray any borrowing costs on the property’s purchase,” says Adams. “This could work particularly well for a business occupying the top floor because the ground floor would command a rental premium because of its high profile location in a sought after retail strip.”

• Developers: there would be potential to add to the under-developed site with the wide range of uses permitted by the Business - City Centre zoning providing multiple options, says Adams. “There are a number of significantly higher buildings adjoining the property and the zoning opens up the possibility of adding either more commercial space or residential dwellings on top of the existing building. However, interested parties would need to seek professional advice on this. Any resource consent would require detail on how a development will impact on neighbouring sites, places of amenity such as Freyberg Square as well as volcanic view shafts.”

The building was originally constructed in the early 1900s. Renovation works, which included structural strengthening, were completed in 2001 and resulted in the building achieving an Grade A seismic rating. 

Melhuish says the ground floor provides attractive high stud retail/showroom space while the upper level would suit a variety of commercial uses, including character office space or possibly residential conversion.

He says the property is strategically positioned between Durham and Vulcan Lanes and directly opposite Freyberg Place in the heart of one of the CBD’s most popular fashion and hospitality precincts. 

“The property enjoys massive exposure to pedestrians with over 4000 people passing the store on an average day,” says Melhuish.  “The established shopping precinct is a hub for top New Zealand designer labels, major male fashion brands, streetwear retailers as well as accessory shops ranging from shoes at Mi Piaci to high-end opticals at Mortimer Hurst. Adding to the location’s appeal is a quirky cafe and bar scene in and around High Street.” Melhuish says the area will benefit from the current major upgrade to Freyberg Place, the main thoroughfare between High Street and the Chancery complex, which will be renamed Freyberg Square and incorporate more seating options, new paving and native trees. It is part of a $10.7 million project which will also encompass the refurbishment of  nearby Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Hall. 

 “Among the project’s objectives are to support the development of High Street and the nearby Queen Street Valley area as a destination where people live, work and play and to provide a catalyst for investment in the area,” says Melhuish. 

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