One of the last on Lunn, ripe for conversion

By Colin Taylor

Mt Wellington area has grown from blank canvas in 2007 to a precinct bustling with a range of retailers.

Street-level view of 56 Lunn Ave, an industrial and office building which is ripe for redevelopment for retail purposes.
Street-level view of 56 Lunn Ave, an industrial and office building which is ripe for redevelopment for retail purposes.

These retailers have all recognised the benefits of locating in this area, with Lunn Ave being close to a large and affluent neighbouring residential catchment .Leroy Wolland, Colliers International One of the last opportunities to buy commercial property in a successful retail precinct between Remuera, Meadowbank and Mt Wellington has come up with the marketing for sale of 56 Lunn Ave.

The 1906sq m property sits on a prominent 3237sq m site in the fast-growing retail area and, subject to resource consent, could be occupied by a single large retailer or split into smaller tenancies.

The freehold Mt Wellington industrial and office property, which is offered with short-term holding income, is for sale by deadline private treaty closing on October 11, unless it is sold before that date.

"The existing building is well structured and adaptable," Charlie Oscroft of Colliers International says. "We see this sale primarily as an opportunity for a developer to work with the current building and add value through refurbishment.

It could either be renovated as a single large showroom or divided into multiple tenancies.

"An owner-occupier could equally take the building as is and use it for showroom, trade or large-format retail purposes. We expect to receive a lot of interest, both from businesses wanting to be part of the Lunn Ave action and from developers with an eye for the potential value in this property and the broader location."

The property is on the market following the current owner-occupier's decision to move to substantially larger premises, after seven years in the building, to meet the expansion demands of the distribution business.

"Over this business' time in Lunn Ave, the street has changed from mainly distribution and warehousing uses to a major retail destination," Oscroft says.

"Number 56 is one of the few remaining properties on the street, with good access and excellent street profile suitable for conversion to retail. And it is also only two doors up from the 12,000sq m Mitre 10 Mega."

Leroy Wolland of Colliers International concurs that the Lunn Ave retail area has developed rapidly from its former industrial use to become "a thriving retail hub".

"Since 2007, when the area was a blank canvas - nothing but bare land - our sales and retail leasing teams have sold and leased a large number of sites culminating in a very successful neighbourhood centre where local residents can shop and meet up."

Wolland says the precinct is now home to a range of retailers, from large-format stores through to small convenience shops.

"These retailers have all recognised the benefits of locating in this area, with Lunn Ave being close to a large and affluent neighbouring residential catchment including Remuera, Meadowbank and the Stonefields subdivision. The location also exposes their businesses to heavy volumes of traffic using Lunn Ave."

Some of the familiar brands to open nearby outlets along the avenue include Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, Westpac, McDonald's, Placemakers, Farro, Animates, BP, AA, ASB Bank, Factory Frames, Moda Kitchens, Mt Smart Marine, Repco, Looksharp and Wet & Forget.

"While the area has proved hugely attractive to retailers, it is now approaching capacity," Wolland says.

"These stores have been attracted by recent demographic trends in the area, with 6500 residents moving into Stonefields, plus the ease of access and high visibility that Lunn Ave offers."

Oscroft says the original plans for the side of the road facing a former quarry, which has become Stonefields, were very ambitious, and were shelved following the onset of the global financial crisis.

"What we have seen at Lunn Ave is the adaptive nature of the market, with the economic downturn in some ways having enabled commercial expansion here - including a drop in land prices that made new development viable."

Wolland says Lunn Ave is busy every day from morning until late evening.

"People living in the surrounding area were crying out for a centre like this, as there were few options nearby for local people to shop, buy groceries, dine out or be entertained."

Wolland says that although retail leasing opportunities along Lunn Ave are becoming few and far between, there will be opportunities over the longer term for new retail conversions as the leases on a small number of industrial premises expire further down towards the Ellerslie-Panmure Highway.

"We expect any further properties like this to be quickly snapped up. There is considerable demand from showroom operators and retailers who want to get into the area.

"It has now become a destination, particularly since Mitre 10 Mega and New World opened their doors.

"The Warehouse also owns a 3ha corner site in the Lunn Ave retail precinct."

- NZ Herald

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