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Vacant city-centre office building prime for mixed-use redevelopment

Tags: Auckland CBD Commercial

A vacant Auckland city-centre office block with potential for redevelopment into a mixed-use commercial and residential property has been placed on the market for sale.

Under the Auckland Unitary Plan, the property is zoned business city centre. Permitted activities under this classification allow for the provision of accommodation and boarding house operations, community care, food and beverage businesses, education providers, office or retail space, healthcare firms, or retirement village services.

The 364 square metres of square-shaped freehold land and 736.7 square metre building at 117 Vincent Street are being marketed for sale at auction on March 8 by Bayleys Auckland. The property features in Bayleys’ latest Total Property magazine out now.

Bayleys Auckland salesperson Nigel McNeill said the property was built in 1965 and would be sold with vacant possession. A legal vehicle and pedestrian access way linking Hobson Street and Vincent Street runs along one side of the property 

Each level of the three-storey building is 245 square metres. The ground level is currently configured to accommodate 12 covered car parks directly accessed from Vincent Street, while an additional six uncovered car parks are available on a sealed yard to the rear of the premises.

In its current two-tenant lay-out, the building’s upper two levels are accessed by a shared stairwell, with the main entry to the building accessed from Vincent Street. Both floors were fitted out some seven years ago and are configured in a mix of open plan, small offices, and meeting rooms, with each level having access to their own toilet amenities.

“There is the potential for any new owner to either retain the building in its current floor plan serving two tenancies, or redesign one of the floors to accommodate residential accommodation in the premises,” Mr McNeill said.

“The offices in their current state are of a B-grade standard – meaning they could be let ‘as is’ with any per square metre rate reflecting that grading, or the space could be subjected to a degree of modernisation and refitting to timprove the offices up to an A-grade standard suitable for a medium-sized business tenancy.”

Mr McNeill said plans had already been drawn up by the vendor for the construction of a six-storey mixed-use commercial and residential development on the site. Under these plans – which could be made available to potential purchasers – upper levels of the block could be configured to accommodate a quartet of one, two, and three-bedroom units on each floor

Council planning regulations dictate that one-bedroom units in Auckland must be a minimum of 45 square metres in size, while two-bedroom units must be of a minimum 70 square metre in size, and the three bedroom units must be of minimum of 90 square metres in size.

“Auckland’s central business district is continually undergoing intensive redevelopment – particularly over the past four years with the council’s stated commitment to city-wide densification in the residential sector,” Mr McNeill said.

“This has seen a number of older buildings which had previously solely housed commercial or retail tenancies now being converted to either apartment blocks or mixed-used complexes. Consequently, small stand-alone buildings such as this are becoming a growing rarity.”

One of the first examples of this latest on-going wave of commercial-to-residential conversions was undertaken nearby at 132 Vincent Street opposite the central police station in what was the former headquarters of infrastructure services company Beca Carter. After selling in late 2011, the tower has gone on to be converted into 62 contemporary-styled luxury apartments.

“The tree-lined character of Vincent Street automatically lends itself to the creation of apartments in buildings such as number 117,” Mr McNeill said.

The 117 Vincent Street property has a 2015 ratable valuation of $1.4 million and an Initial Evaluation Procedure (IEP) rating of 40 percent. The building has a street frontage of 90.9 metres and was built in a standard concrete pillar and steel framing - with air conditioning ducted to both levels of office space.

“Any modernisation of the existing structure and interior to a commercial layout could simultaneously include a strengthening of the building to a much higher degree of new building standard (NBS),” he said.

Vincent Street is just a few hundred metres away from the Spaghetti Junction motorway interchange linking Auckland CBD with the city’s southern and western suburbs, and less than a kilometre away from the northbound onramp of the motorway linking the North Shore.

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