City fringe office title has plenty of potential

By Colin Taylor

There will be plenty of interest in this Hopetoun St building.
There will be plenty of interest in this Hopetoun St building.

Properties offering accommodation close to the CBD and with easy access to the motorway are hard to find.

Four floors of an 11-storey city fringe mixed-use officer tower building, at 9A Hopetoun St, Freemans Bay, have been put on the market for sale through Tim Lichtenstein and Tony Allsop of Colliers International.

The floors, on a single strata title and providing holding income until January 2014 are the ground floor and levels one, two and three, which are offered for sale by deadline private treaty closing on July 26 unless sold earlier. Although two leases are in place providing $744,500 in net annual rental income, the floors are unoccupied.

"This provides excellent flexibility for the new owner to add value," Lichtenstein says.

"There are multiple options available here for city-fringe investors, developers and owner-occupiers, with the existing rental allowing the purchaser to collect an income for the next 19 months while they make plans for the use of the property."

"The space would suit an owner occupier looking for attractively priced office space near the CBD, or for investors who could re-fit and enhance the space for new tenants to take over the leases."

Alternatively, the floors could be converted to apartments.

The mixed-use building went up in the late 1980s. It has two lifts, stairwells and an internal common lobby. It has apartments on the upper levels and three levels of basement parking, as well as the office title, which provides 2842sq m of net lettable area across the four floors.

Good-sized 809sq m floor plates, excellent natural light and 25.5sq m north-facing decks on levels one, two and three enhance the well-presented interiors.

"The property offers fantastic views over Auckland City and the Waitemata Harbour, as well as excellent shared amenities such as a tennis court and swimming pool," Allsop says.

The office floors are fully fitted out and each level contains kitchen and bathroom facilities.

The Hopetoun St building is within walking distance of Ponsonby Rd, Karangahape Rd, Queen St and regular public transport. Motorway access is within 1km.

"Located between Queen St and Ponsonby Rd, the building gives occupiers the benefits of a city address at a lower rental cost than the CBD," says Allsop.

"Staff will appreciate being close to motorway ramps, as well as the on-site parking.

"Features like these mean this building should appeal to a wide range of future owners."

He says locations with exceptional access to Auckland's main motorways, the city centre and surrounding suburbs rarely become available on the city fringe.

"Within minutes building occupiers can be on the motorway travelling north, west or south.

"The ready access to Auckland's suburban centres and to regional destinations indicates that this is a location in which properties should hold their value into the future."

The property is zoned residential 7, which allows for design flexibility around high-density development in the city fringe, while protecting the surrounding environment from any adverse effects related to future development.

Activities permitted in the zone include the construction of residential units and care-centre facilities, with some provision for commercial and retail uses.

The zone has a flexible site density allowing one residential unit for 200sq m of gross site area and, for each person, 25sq m. The maximum height restriction is 20m.

Lichtenstein says there is an increase in demand for central city and fringe accommodation, in particular apartments, which offer the benefits of easy access to public transport, shopping and public amenities.

The office market is gaining momentum, with vacancy levels down. Colliers International indicates a city-fringe vacancy level of 10.4 per cent.

- NZ Herald

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