Banking on a landmark piece of city's history

By Colin Taylor

Exterior view of the early 20th century building at 15 Jervois Rd, Ponsonby - a former ASB Bank.
Exterior view of the early 20th century building at 15 Jervois Rd, Ponsonby - a former ASB Bank.

One of Ponsonby's commercial landmarks, the former ASB Bank building which has most recently been used as legal chambers, is for sale with vacant possession and is being marketed to owner-occupiers or investors wanting to secure tenants and add value.

The building was designed by architect Daniel Boys Patterson for the Auckland Savings Bank and was constructed in 1927-1928. Thanks to the bank's long occupation of the premises, many of its original features, including the impressive facade have been well maintained.

The high-profile character building at 15 Jervois Rd in the Three Lamps shopping precinct comprises two levels of character offices, many of them with the original features of the 1920s property still intact. These include high stud space on the ground floor, kauri wooden flooring and oak panelling and large leadlight windows. There is also an upper-level deck that some offices open onto and a ground-floor courtyard.

The standalone building contains around 380sq m of commercial space and sits on a 334sq m freehold title.

It is being marketed by Scott Kirk of Bayleys Auckland as part of Bayleys' latest Total Property portfolio being launched this weekend, and is for sale by tender, closing on May 16.

While it is now used for offices, Kirk says the building lends itself to being converted to a cafe or restaurant on the ground floor which could make good use of the outdoor courtyard for dining.

"Upstairs is more suited to office space or, with the right consents in place, it could be converted to luxury residential accommodation to make the most of its views. The property comes under the Business Activity 2 zoning which permits retailing, office and commercial service activity at a medium intensity suburban level."

Kirk says the first floor was originally bank manager's residential accommodation but it now provides character offices, with a kitchen and amenities. Its rear deck has sweeping views of Auckland Harbour and the Westhaven Marina.

Access to the ground floor, which features a stud of approximately 4.5m, is through double doors off Jervois Rd. The front portion of the ground floor offers mainly open-plan space, while to the rear of the floor is a kitchen and a large attractive office overlooking the courtyard and with views of the harbour bridge.

Kirk says standalone commercial buildings in Ponsonby are hard to secure because there is little vacancy in the popular fringe CBD suburb.

"This offers an opportunity for a new owner to generate significant cashflow in this outstanding commercial and retail location."

The neoclassical building is one of the many commissioned by ASB Bank from Daniel Boys Patterson, who was born and architecturally trained in England, emigrating to New Zealand about 1910.

He was a senior partner in the firm of D.B. Patterson, Lewis and Sutcliffe, which was responsible for the design of many churches, hotels and commercial buildings throughout the Auckland province.

- NZ Herald

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