Bank building ideal 'investment stock'

By Colin Taylor

The building to be auctioned was purpose-built for the bank in the 1970s.
The building to be auctioned was purpose-built for the bank in the 1970s.

A central Takapuna commercial property occupied by a BNZ bank branch offers an "exceptional commercial property investment" according to the brokers handling its sale by auction.

The 1077sq m building at 491-493 Lake Rd, Auckland is being marketed by Andrew Hiskens and Jimmy O'Brien of Colliers International as part of the agency's fourth 2013 New Zealand Portfolio collection and will go under the hammer at 1pm on October 10 at Collier's auction room at 151 Queen St, Auckland.

The freehold property occupies a 1257sq m site in one of Takapuna's main shopping and commercial strips. It has onsite parking for 22 cars with access off Northcroft St while easements to the rear provide access to the landmark Sentinel luxury apartment building.

Hiskens says the building constitutes "ideal investment stock" having the BNZ as a longstanding tenant and generating income of $359,000 a year.

"BNZ has occupied the property since it was purpose-built for the bank in the 1970s.

The bank is very well-established in this location within a suburban shopping hub that serves a large residential area."

Hiskens says a recent substantial fit-out to the building completed by BNZ indicates the tenant's high level of commitment to the site which is just a 10-minute drive from Auckland's central business district.

"As far as the tenant covenant goes, a bank such as BNZ, with its strong parent company the National Australia Bank Group, is very attractive to investors looking for sound commercial property investments."

BNZ's current lease term extends for a six-year period, with a right of renewal providing the option to extend the term to April 30, 2022.

The two-level building has received a full structural report indicating compliance with seismic strength requirements.

"The property has been refurbished several times since construction and offers well-presented retail and office space in a tightly held location," says Hiskens.

O'Brien says high-profile bank branch properties in thriving commercial centres are not seen on the market very often.

"Demand for a quality property like this among investors should result in a high level of interest in the auction room," he says.

"There is a large volume of investment money looking for a home in the commercial property market at the moment, given low borrowing rates and the strong returns available on property compared with other investments."

O'Brien says Takapuna is reporting buoyant growth and has increased in popularity among commercial property investors.

"The rising activity has signalled the suburb's transformation into the North Shore's central business hub, in line with Auckland Council's plans for the city," O'Brien says.

"Substantial projects are either underway or in the pipeline over the next few years.

"These will incorporate apartments, offices and mixed use commercial; along with car parking, specialty retail and bars and restaurants - a broad range of projects which will inject a huge boost of vitality into the Takapuna central business district."

Hiskens believes the new developments will result in a more intensive mixed use live-and-work environment in coming years.

"The North Shore has always been a great place to live and work - with residents having access to stunning beaches while being relatively close to the Auckland CBD.

"We also believe it is an ideal place to invest with many developers, individuals and Auckland Council dedicated to growing Takapuna into a key business hub."

- NZ Herald

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