The land and buildings encompassing what was previously one of Auckland’s largest Returned Services Association sites have been placed on the market for sale.
The Manurewa RSA has been operating from its Maich Road premises in the heart of Manurewa township for 50 years. However, an ageing and declining membership base meant the venture was no longer viable long-term, and the club ceased trading in May 2018.
Its 900 members are now in the process of transferring patronage to other chartered clubs in the South Auckland region – including the Papatoetoe Returned Services Association, the Papakura Returned Services Association, and the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club.
At the time of closure, 23 percent of the club’s membership were classified as having served in the armed forces – a figure well down from when the venue first opened and was frequented by former servicemen and women who had served their country in global conflicts dating as far back as World War I.
Proceeds from the sale of the Manurewa Returned Services property are to be used for the welfare support of returned services men and women in the Manurewa area.
Manurewa RSA general manager Dave Fenton said the substantial collection of military memorabilia which had adorned the walls and corridors of the property for decades was currently being apportioned out to appropriate recipients, including back to the families who had originally loaned it to the organisation, along with the Royal New Zealand Air Force training unit at Ardmore Airbase, and the Royal New Zealand Army garrison in Grey Lynn.
Mr Fenton said any military memorabilia and records remaining at the end of the current repatriation process could be shared with either the Papakura or Papatoetoe RSA’s or potentially the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
The Maich Road property consists of a modern single-storey 1,820 square metre building sitting on 3,091 square metres of freehold land zoned for business - light industry use. Included within the land is sealed and gated car parking for 53 vehicles.
Inside, the fully air-conditioned building contains all of the services and infrastructure required for sustaining a licensed hospitality operation, including:
• A full commercial-grade kitchen featuring ovens, hobs, grillers, fryers, walk-in freezer and refrigerator, dish-washer/drying equipment, and extensive stainless steel benching
• An open-plan 200-seater bar and restaurant area
• Two separate bar structures – each with multiple tap-heads and lines running through to the refrigerated keg chiller
• An entertainment area with four full-size and four half-size pool tables, spot-lit dart board arena, and TAB betting outlet
• A covered private outdoor courtyard area for smoking patrons
• Full modern male and female bathroom facilities and
• Administrative offices.
The property at 6 Maich Road is being marketed for sale by expressions of interest through Bayleys Manukau, with registrations closing at 4pm on July 18. Salespeople Ben Bayley, Karl Price and Dave Stanley said that in addition to the land and building on offer for sale, the RSA would also look at selling the fit out and chattels associated with sustaining a food and beverage business.
“As a fully-functional hospitality entity, this is a virtual ‘turn-key’ operation in a ready-to-go state,” Mr Bayley said.
“The high-profile location of the property in the heart of Manurewa township sitting at the apex of two busy roads, along with existing fit-out, chattels, and extensive parking area, indicate the property would ideally suit either a hospitality-focused owner, or potentially a religious-based organisation.
“The premises could easily continue operating as a restaurant and bar under its existing structural configuration, or with a new fit out and decor could just as easily transform into one of the branded hospitality chains currently in the New Zealand marketplace – such as those under the Good George, Lone Star, or Good Home monikers for example.”
Mr Bayley said that with a large entry foyer coming off Maich Road, and a second entry point directly off the car park, a development-orientated investor could also look at reconfiguring the property to potentially have two separate hospitality operations under one roof branching off – each with their own individual entry point.
“Alternatively, a religion-based organisation may purely look to make the most of the open plan space to house a place of worship or meeting, supported by the existing food and beverage amenities for functions and social events.”
Manurewa RSA’s liquor and gaming licenses have both been left to lapse, and are not included in the asset sale. However, Mr Bayley said any new owner wishing to continue the hospitality aspect of the location could apply for a continuation of existing use certification from the council.
Auckland Council’s business – light industry zoning for the Maich Street address allows for activities which generate minimal odor, dust, or noise into the surrounding environment.