Hong Kong buyers pay $65.5m for three office towers

By Colin Taylor

Walker Wayland Centre at 53 Fort St (left), Shortland Chambers Building at 70 Shortland St (above) and 57 Fort St (right) which have all been sold to a Hong Kong based family.
Walker Wayland Centre at 53 Fort St (left), Shortland Chambers Building at 70 Shortland St (above) and 57 Fort St (right) which have all been sold to a Hong Kong based family.

A wealthy Hong Kong family have bought three office towers in Auckland's CBD for $65.5 million in one of the biggest property deals of the year.

The sale involves two buildings on Fort St, including the 13-level Walker Wayland Centre, and the Shortland Chambers building at 70 Shortland St owned by the Shortland Street Trust.

A variety of businesses, including law, accounting, technology and consulting firms are housed in the buildings.

Ima Bistro, which serves traditional Mediterranean and Israeli cuisine, and Ben Cafe are on the ground floor of the 14-storey 57 Fort St tower.

According to Kevin Richards, capital markets senior broker for Savills, the family were attracted to the sale because of the relatively high return on New Zealand properties.

The office towers had sold at a yield of 7.25 per cent.

"In Hong Kong and Singapore, prime properties change hands at yields as low as 2.5 to 3 per cent," Mr Richards said.

"Prime yields in Sydney have recently fallen as low as 5.2 per cent."

Shortland Management, which manages Shortland Trust, said it would continue to oversee the buildings until the end of the year.

Nadeem Ali, chief financial officer of Shortland Management, said the organisation wanted to create a stable, long-term client base within the buildings it managed.

"The new owners have indicated their desire to take a similar long-term approach."

News of the sale had contributed to a decision to put the General Building at 29-33 Shortland St on the market, she said.

The building, which accommodates a number of well-established professional businesses, brings in $1.77 million in rent each year and is also owned by the trust.

Read more:
Trio of CBD towers fetches $65m

- NZ Herald

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