After 29 years on a prominent site at 2 Walls Rd, Penrose, the ANZ bank is giving up its tenancy. This will give an opportunity for an owner-occupier, family trust, private investor or a new tenant to get a foothold in one of the city's most tightly held commercial and industrial areas.
"At an asking price of around $2 million, this is an ideal property for an owner-occupier who is looking to buy a well-maintained building at a reasonable price in Auckland's premier industrial suburb," says Savills' senior broker Jeremy Barnett.
The building has been ANZ's Penrose branch since it was designed and built for the bank in 1983.
The bank, now part of National Bank, has decided not to renew its lease, which ends on December 31, and Savills is offering the 556sq m building, with 25 car parks, on a 2200sq m site for sale or lease.
The freehold title for the site was first issued in 1983 as part of a multiple-site subdivision along Walls Rd. Not long after, ANZ committed to purpose-built premises with 466sq m of ground level space containing a bank chamber and offices and 90sq m of lower ground floor amenities.
Barnett says as a corner site with dual accessways fronting Walls and Great South Rds, the bank offered drive-through facilities for a while, but they have not been operational for some time.
The building has a large banking chamber and behind it a large area used for training new bank staff, and a range of offices.
"The property is of good commercial standard and it would be relatively easy to convert the interior into superior offices."
Barnett is working alongside Savills' managing director, Paddy Callesen, on the sale or lease of the building by private treaty, closing on August 30. He says the Anglican Trust bought the property as a long-term investment when it was completed.
"About a decade ago the bank went through a restructure and, as part of its options, looked at reducing the number of suburban branches it operated. As the Anglican Trust is risk averse, it put the property on the market and it was picked up by a family trust, which negotiated another six-year lease with the bank. The bank has stayed on another further two years, but will end its tenure with the site at the end of the year."
Callesen says it will be the end of an era. "The site is a well-recognised landmark and, from the nearby flyover, stands out on its own, giving a 3D effect to vehicle drivers and passengers."
He says the family trust decided to sell or lease the property as it has no emotional attachment and if a deal "stacks up" the trust will let it go.
"It is definitely easier to sell in this market than lease and owner-occupiers are clamouring to buy their own premises while interest rates are low."
Barnett says although the property was specifically built for the bank, it will be suitable for professional offices occupied by accountants, tax consultants, ACC providers, finance and real estate companies, which need ample parking spaces.
There is one car park to every 20sq m of office space.
"The property could also be suitable for a fast-food drive-through, local convenience or trade retail or businesses needing a prominent location. More than 20,000 vehicles a day pass the site.
"Corner sites with dual access are hard to come by anywhere in Penrose. The property sits in the geographical heart of Auckland's best and fully developed commercial and industrial locality."
Industry began to flourish in Penrose from the 1920s because of its proximity to the main rail line and Great South Rd.
These transport links were later strengthened by the Southern Motorway and, by the 1950s, 5000 people worked in the suburb.
Four years ago, Penrose had 14 per cent of Auckland city's employment and accounted for up 7 per cent of its businesses.