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Regional property investors aim to get a bargain at The Warehouse

Tags: Commercial

The biggest commercial property in the coastal township of Snells Beach just north of Auckland – housing one of New Zealand’s biggest retailing names – has been placed on the market for sale.

The standalone building at 270 – 278 Mahurangi East Road in the town centre houses the 4,695 square metre branch of national retailing giant The Warehouse.

The freehold land and concrete tilt slab building are being jointly marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Warkworth and Bayleys Auckland – with the tender closing at 4pm on October 26.

The Warehouse Ltd is currently on a 10-year lease at the property running through until 2022 – generating a net rental return of $563,269 plus GST, and with three further five-year rights of renewal taking the final expiry date at this stage out to 2037. Rental review dates are scheduled for 2019, 2022, 2027 and 2032.

Bayleys Warkworth commercial salesperson Henry Napier said the standalone purpose-built Warehouse outlet was constructed in the early 2000s and had a 100 percent seismic rating of new building standard. The property sits on 10,137 square metres of land which is zoned ‘business – local centre’.

As well as a large open plan retail forma typical of The Warehouse business model, the high-stud building also has administrative offices, staff bathroom amenities and a large incoming goods handling and storage area.

The building also has underground car parking for 90 customer and staff vehicles, as well as shared-use of 60 additional car parks at the front of the premises – which is used by customers at other retail tenancies in the town’s hub.

“The Warehouse was one of the first modern-generation commercial tenancies in the Snells Beach town centre, and over the ensuing past couple of decades has seen considerable growth of new commercial, retail and industrial activities in the immediate vicinity,” Mr Napier said.

“As a result, The Warehouse Snells Beach can truly be called an ‘anchor’ of the town’s very compact retailing community – drawing in a large customer base from the bigger nearby township of Warkworth, along with the coastal populations of Omaha, Matakana, Point Wells and Leigh.”

In addition to fronting onto Mahurangi East Road, the property has right of way access for stock delivery trucks off Hamatana Road. The Snells Beach branch of The Warehouse is one of 242 retail locations across New Zealand operated under the brand’s parent company.

The nearest other Warehouse branch is at Silverdale, some 30 minutes’ drive to the south on State Highway One. Listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, The Warehouse and its sister brands – including Noel Leeming, Warehouse Stationary and Torpedo 7 – employ approximately 12,000 people.

Bayleys Auckland salesperson Scott Kirk said the land and buildings at 270 – 278 Mahurangi East Road would be one of the biggest passive investment properties of its type in the region – matched only by the likes of Mega Mitre 10, Bunnings, Countdown, and New World in Warkworth.

“Snells Beach’s location just an hour’s drive north of Auckland means we will probably be looking at a new owner from within this area,” Mr Napier said

Mahurangi East Road sits on the ridge which separates the town’s beach-facing residential slopes from the dairy farming pastures inland. The Snells Beach town centre features more than a dozen retail and light industrial premises – including a superette, fishing and diving supplies shop, hairdresser, auto’ mechanics repair shop, a liquor outlet, a pub, several cafes, a fish and chip shop, and The Warehouse.

Mr Kirk said that for any investor looking to add to the scale of the existing Warehouse premises and land for future development plans, there was a large ‘greenfield’ space to the rear of the property which could also be turned into a warehousing or light industrial facility subject to council consents.

“Auckland Council has stated that development of any new facilities for Snells Beach should occur around the existing commercial area because of its focus for business and community facilities and its central location to surrounding communities,’ Mr Kirk said.

“The council has formally indicated that use should be made of land that is adjoining the existing commercial and industrial areas running behind the existing shopping centre and linking with the existing industrial and commercial areas fronting Hamatana Road. This makes The Warehouse a pivotal property in that location.

“The council has also forecast that there will be a need for some office space for commercial services in the Snells Beach town centre. As early as 2011, the council’s over-arching planning papers for the area stated: “There will be an increased need for additional industrial and commercial facilities to service the needs of the growing local population, growing visitor numbers, and growing industry.” This is all now coming to fruition.”

Auckland Council population growth forecasts for the Greater Warkworth/Mahurangi Peninsula and surrounding settlements, estimate the region will sustain 25,000 permanent residents by 2030 – including at least 10,000 people in Snells Beach by 2021.

The rate of population growth is expected to increase with the expansion of State Highway One into a four-lane motorway running from Johnstone’s Hill tunnel overlooking Puhoi through to just north of Warkworth. Bulk earthworks on the project are set to begin this month, with the route scheduled to open in 2021.

Mr Kirk said the new route was expected to substantially cut down travelling times over the distance – making settlements on the Mahurangi East Peninusula more attractive to Aucklanders as both satellite townships and for holiday home ownership.

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