“We’ve sold plenty of hospitality businesses as well as the buildings they operate out of over the years, but this is the first time we have actually marketed a relocatable venue that will require the purchaser to move the building structure elsewhere,” says Jayson Hayde, Bayleys’ national director of business sales.
Originally established as a temporary central city venue for the Lions rugby tour in 2017, the 675sqm structure at 115 Customs Street West is being put up for sale by hospitality industry stalwart Leo Molloy because the ground lease on the land it sits on expires in May this year.
Jason Hayde and Bayleys Auckland Central colleague Paul Dixon are marketing the building, and its numerous assets, on an ‘as is where is’ basis, inviting expressions of interest closing at 4pm, Wednesday March 2.
“The Headquarters is a standout example of a quality modular building, and its sale represents a fantastic opportunity to uplift this iconic, asset-filled hospitality space to another location,” says Hayde.
“The building would be ideal for a new pop up or permanent hospitality fixture and comes with everything you need to get started. Equally, it could make fantastic commercial space for other uses such as conferences, product launches or large-scale events, with potential also for industrial or private residential use. It could be customised for just about any purpose.”
The building has been constructed on three floating concrete foundation beams and measures 70x70x30m. “The structure has not penetrated the ground, instead resting on six-metre centre bearers and joists, with a polystyrene and concrete slab foundation at the rear for bathrooms and chillers,” says Paul Dixon. “The entire building weighs around 80 tonnes and would be relatively straight forward to move.”
He says features of the offering include:
• A large open plan building with a mix of high and lower stud heights throughout providing versatility and flexibility for future uses. It can be sectioned off to provide a different experience depending on which part of the premises you are in.
• Excellent indoor/outdoor flow with numerous entrances into the building.
• A highly equipped commercial kitchen which Dixon describes as one of the best in Auckland, with a $150,000 Beech Oven barbeque and grill, plus hanging meat chiller and walk-in beer chiller. The kitchen is also stacked with plates, glassware and cutlery.
• A swathe of other high-quality chattels and assets including huge digital display screens for parties and sports events, the first of which was purchased for $100,000 plus GST, plus two smaller screens bought for $55,000 plus GST each. This big screen technology has been a massive asset for the venue which no other facilities in the Viaduct have matched, says Dixon. Other assets include funky outdoor seating and bespoke furniture, furnishings and light fittings imported from Bali and Fiji, plus plants.
• Easy to disassemble and reuse building materials, comprising poly panel thermal and acoustic panes which have council approval for use in high-heat environments such as the commercial kitchen. There is no lining, plaster board or studs to contend with.
Dixon says the building has a proven history as a high-functioning hospitality venue since Leo Molloy was offered the opportunity in October 2016 by the landowner Viaduct Harbour Holdings to occupy the site on the condition that he had the bar and restaurant open in time for the British and Irish Lions rugby tour six months later.
“The short-term ground lease was later extended until May 2022 due to the Headquarters’ popularity and it has subsequently gone on to be an integral part of a number of high-profile Viaduct events including America’s Cup celebrations, the Around the World ocean race and multiple All Black tests,” says Dixon.
“More recently, the building has been split into three separate areas to provide a more varied customer experience. Currently there is a restaurant at one end, the main bar at the other end and a whiskey bar in the middle. The full capacity and fire rating of the entire space is around 500 people.”
As evidence of its high-quality construction, Leo Molloy points to the venue having not received a single noise complaint in its five years of operation, despite being less than 25 metres from residential apartments and accommodation providers. “The Auckland Council requested three different acoustic consents, and the venue has been totally compliant without issue or incident,” Molloy says.
“It took four builders eight weeks to put it together, and a new owner will appreciate the opportunity to bypass long consent and construction delays currently constraining development,” he adds.
Molloy says he is selling the building and assets to focus on other business interests, including other hospitality venues in the Viaduct.
Jayson Hayde says in today’s high-demand and increasingly expensive building and construction climate, building structures like the Headquarters premises offer a fast-tracked, sustainable solution for use in virtually any sector.
“Given the acute skills shortage in the construction industry, and the rising cost of goods and materials as well as labour, innovative modular technology like that employed to create the Headquarters is likely to become an increasingly popular option.
“Given that popularity of hospitality locations can change, the great thing about this type of venue is that you can relocate it to where the customers are. Internal areas can also be easily customised to meet changing trends in customer experience expectations.”
Hayde says the cost to disassemble, transport, reassemble and obtain council consents will need to be factored into buyer decision-making. To assist with their assessment of the offering, an online due diligence data room will be made available to qualified purchasers.