The land, buildings and business sustaining a landmark visitor accommodation and function venue in one of North Auckland’s best-loved seaside visitor hotspots have been put up for sale.
The Leigh Central business is well known to holidaymakers, caravaners and eventgoers for its wide-ranging accommodation and event-hosting options in the heart of Leigh, a little over an hour north of central Auckland.
Located on an elevated corner site at 22-28 Cumberland Street, with views over Little Barrier Island, the successful Leigh Central business has been operating and developing since 2016.
Formerly the site of a derelict pub, the property underwent a major rebuild as the current owners transformed it into a magnet for guests seeking a relaxed getaway or as a stylish venue for weddings, local celebrations and corporate gatherings.
The business benefits from its location in the small seaside village of Leigh, close to attractions including New Zealand’s first marine reserve at Goat Island, along with bush walks, boating and local markets.
The land, buildings and business sustaining Leigh Central are now being marketed for sale by negotiation as a freehold going concern, through Bayleys’ Hotels, Tourism and Leisure sales team and Bayleys Warkworth.
Salespeople Leanne Bate, Brady McCabe and Dianne Coman said the growing business attracted numerous functions and guests seeking a tranquil and scenic setting within easy reach of Auckland.
“Leigh Central has proven particularly popular among Aucklanders on weekend escapes or longer breaks, as well as visitors from further afield and those gathering for special occasions,” said Ms Bate.
“The enduring strong demand it has seen from the domestic market has served the accommodation business well through the challenges presented by Covid-19.”
Ms Bate said assets for sale included multiple buildings for visitor and owner’s accommodation and approximately 8,094 square metres of freehold land on one title, with plenty of onsite parking.
“Leigh Central offers a range of accommodation options including self-contained units, cabins and motorhome/caravan facilities, catering for couples, caravaners, wedding or family groups. The accommodation is light and airy with a vintage nautical theme throughout,” said Ms Bate.
“The original old pub building has been comprehensively renovated and transformed into a fabulous function venue and five self-contained ‘Coastel’ motel units.”
The function venue features two spaces catering for large or small gatherings.
“The main function room is ideal for private events through to lavish weddings. It features sea views through floor-to-ceiling windows, with bi-folding doors opening out to an expansive private deck. This in turn flows on to a large events lawn,” said Ms Bate.
“A second, more intimate space caters for smaller groups, conferences, company events and family celebrations. It caters for up to 40 guests and opens to a tranquil garden courtyard.”
The current owners provide the function venue on a BYO and self-catering basis, supported by a full-size commercial kitchen and bar.
Ms Bate said a new owner could seek to increase income by replacing this offering with a model built around licensed premises and full catering.
The motel units cover a variety of configurations. Each has been decorated with its own theme and a vintage bach feel, and opens onto a deck and has a dedicated car park.
Mr McCabe said the owners had completed newer buildings on the site in 2018, including the ‘Boatshed’ cabins, a two-bedroom owner’s apartment and a separate two-bedroom, single-level dwelling.
“The five cabins offer a combination of queen and twin-single bed configurations. These are served by full-amenity shared guest bathroom, kitchen and lounge facilities a short walk away. Each cabin has a small deck and its own car park.
“A two-bedroom owner’s apartment of approximately 100 square metres has been constructed above the main building, overlooking the property while enjoying sea views. It has a double garage/workshop/storage area beneath,” Mr McCabe said.
A second two-bedroom dwelling of some 82 square metres could be used as another home for new owners or managers, or it could be added to the rental pool for additional income, said Mr McCabe.
A large, grassy field is home to powered motorhome and caravan sites, each of which offers water, free WIFI and power and access to the communal guest lounge, kitchen and bathroom facilities.
The property also houses a brand-new wastewater disposal and waste-treatment plant, as well as a bore and treatment plant delivering groundwater for drinking and irrigation. Other facilities include electric car-charging stations, a barbecue area and a guest pay laundry.
Ms Coman said the current owners’ loving restoration of the original buildings, strategic addition of new ones and investment in quality amenities and infrastructure meant the hard work had already been done.
“This investment of time and money paves the way for a new owner to step in and add their own flair, diversity and operational procedures – and to explore new income streams or add-value opportunities,” she said.
The site’s Business – Local Centre zoning under the Auckland Unitary Plan permits a range of accommodation, commercial and service activities, offering a new owner possibilities for new development subject to council consents.
“The current owners of Leigh Central have developed the business and property to the point where it is a destination in its own right – both for visitors and those holding events,” said Ms Coman.
“Visitor demand is further underpinned by numerous local attractions. The nearby Goat Island Marine Reserve has long been a magnet for divers, snorkellers, kayakers and those riding the famous glass-bottomed boat.
“Just three minutes’ drive from Leigh Central, the Leigh Sawmill bar and restaurant has long been an iconic live music venue, drawing music-lovers from near and far.
“Less than 15 minutes to the south are the bars, restaurants, boutique shops and farmer’s market in Matakana,” Ms Coman said.
“Combined with the area’s idyllic local bush walks and sea views to Coromandel Peninsula, Little Barrier and Great Barrier islands, these attractions spell not only a compelling visitor destination but a highly-attractive lifestyle business proposition for a new owner to take up the reigns at Leigh Central.”
Detailed information on business performance and assets is available to potential buyers subject to signing a confidentiality agreement.