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Cash-strapped RSA selling off investment property to stay afloat

Tags: Residential

Dwindling patronage and an aging membership have left a cash-strapped Returned Servicemen Association (RSA) little choice but to offer a portion of their investment portfolio for sale.




The land is owned by the Hibiscus Coast Community RSA.

Spanning some 5,200 square metres, the freehold land just north of Auckland at 20 Melia Place in Stanmore Bay is marketed by Bayleys Whangaparaoa in a tender process closing July 6.

“The land was purchased 25 years ago in 1992, back when the club was based in Silverdale:” Hibiscus Coast Community RSA President Frank Coggan says.

“It was a strategic decision to purchase the land, and the committee’s original visions for the site involved the development of townhouse units which could then be rented to RSA members.”

“Unfortunately financial constrains have meant that this project has never been realised and the property has since remained vacant” Mr Coggan says. 

“Located approximately 100 metres to the west of the current RSA club, the site forms a right angle facing Whangaparaoa Road, with a gentle sloping contour which naturally lends it to development,” says Bayleys Whangaparaoa salesperson Sue Donoghue. 

“Zoned Residential – Single House Zone under the Auckland Unitary Plan operative-in-part, the property has the potential for a minimum of eight dwellings, each of which must be bigger than 600 square metres.” The triangular shaped site has a 2014 council valuation (C.V) of $370,000, however Sue Donoghue says that it is virtually impossible to value due to the differing perspectives that property developers may hold regarding the size and quality of potential dwellings.

“The site is a gem being not too far along the Peninsula,” Sue Donoghue says.

“It’s no more than five minutes’ drive to a beach and there’s a strong community spirit around the area which is predominantly occupied by families and owner-occupiers who benefit from the location - close to public transport routes on Vipond and Whangaparaoa Roads, childcare facilities, amenities and zoning for Red Beach School and Orewa College.”

Mr. Coggan agrees, stating that he hopes the clubs original aspirations for units best suited to a retiree community can be realised by a developer with an understanding of the community dynamic.

Inheriting the presidency in 2014, Mr. Coggan says that the Hibiscus Coast Community RSA has been in financial strife for several years.

Despite making some headway, the club’s top line has been hit hard by the sudden loss of operational revenue, believed to be the result of more stringent Local Alcohol Policy (LAP). 

Tougher legislation regarding the consumption and sale of liquor has meant that the club’s income has been affected since the introduction of rules in November last year.

As cash-flow has struggled to rebound, the committee sought to investigate other options to ensure the club’s survival, and following an extraordinary meeting in early May it was decided to sell a portion of the club’s landholdings.

“We hope funds from a successful sale will allow a rejuvenation of the clubhouse, so we may attract a new generation of membership,” Mr. Coggan says. 

Positioned adjacent to the land for sale, the Hibiscus Coast Community RSA clubrooms moved from Silverdale to their current position at 43A Vipond Road, Whangaparaoa in 1985.

Presently the club offers memberships ranging from free of charge (for returned servicemen 90 years and over), to $45 for a family membership (two adults and two children under 18 years of age) and corporate memberships.

“The clubhouse also showcases a small RSA Museum outlining the history of the association as well as historical articles and models which are accessible and open to the public and school groups,” Mr. Coggan says. 

“We understand that we have to evolve to survive, and this means attracting a new generation of membership which can sustain our heritage and traditions well into the future,” says Mr. Coggan. 

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