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Iconic inner-city hospitality hub placed up for sale

The iconic property at 162 Devon Street East on the corner of Gover Street contains the boutique 15-room State Hotel, three separate eating and drinking establishments, including an upmarket meeting room/function venue. It also contains an unrelated retail tenancy.

The 1,538 square metre two-storey building sits on an apex site of some 1,164 square metres of freehold land zoned Business A in New Plymouth Council’s plan.

The various business entities within the L-shaped inner-city block generate a combined annual net rental of $333,239 plus GST, and include:

• The State Hotel currently on a lease running through to 2027 with two further five-year rights of renewal generating net rental of $130,662 per annum

• A renowned hospitality group who run three separate dining and drinking establishments within the premises, including national brand Joes Garage, currently on a combined lease running through to 2027 with two further five-year rights of renewal generating net rental of $188,552 and

• Ella nail and beauty salon currently on a lease running through to 2021 generating net rental of $14,025.

The land and buildings at 162 Devon Street East are now being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Taranaki, with tenders closing at 4pm on June 27. Salespeople Iain Taylor, Alan Johnston, and Paul Dixon said the property had a category ‘A’ seismic rating at 90 percent of new building standards.

“The premises sustain one of the biggest vertically-integrated hospitality location in New Plymouth’s central business district – offering a range of dining and drinking locations, with the State Hotel offering a high standard of accommodation in the fast growing boutique hotel sector,” Mr Taylor said.

“The trio of eating establishments and the beauty salon operate from street-level premises, with the State Hotel’s rooms on the first storey.

“The first-floor rooms and ensuites within the State Hotel have undergone an extensive renovation that was completed in 2017, to deliver what is now a four-star level accommodation venue where nightly room rates range from $159 - $270.”

Three adjoining food and beverage business operate under the hospitality operator umbrella from the 162 Devon Street East address. They include:

• All-day café, pizza and short-order dining establishment Joe’s Garage

• The more upmarket Gover Street conference and events destination and

• The Asian-fusion casual-dining venue Little Glutton.

Mr Johnston said the various tenancies within 162 Devon Street worked in a self-sustaining manner – with a high percentage of guests taking advantage of the adjacent food and beverage destinations for either breakfast at Joe’s Garage café, or dinner at the Little Glutton, with corporate and events related guests taking advantage of the facilities available at Gover Street.

“It’s a property rich in the city’s history,” said Mr Johnston said. “Its multiple facades and architectural features over the past 150 or so years are a reflection of how New Plymouth has grown.”

Hospitality entities have been operating from the corner of Devon Street East and Gover Street since the 1860s when an establishment named The Red House opened for the consumption of liquor.

Over the ensuing centuries, the premises – in a range of guises, rebuilds and refurbishments – has been owned and operated by some of New Plymouth’s most colorful publicans. The list includes Tinker Smith who erected an oil exploration derrick near the Ngamotu breakwater and actually did discover ‘black gold in the 1860s’, Joseph Flower Carter who published the names of pub customers who had run up unpaid bar tabs in the local newspaper, and Adam Lile who was a member of the pioneering All Gold New Zealand rugby league team which toured Great Britain in 1906/07. It was Lile who changed the tavern’s name to the genesis of its current reference – rebranding it as the State Establishment.

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