Alanah Eriksen

Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's property reporter, and assistant chief reporter.

Institute sells HQ as rebuild plans dropped

REINZ looks to relocate to city fringe after plans to expand Parnell building prove controversial

The Real Estate Institute's property is on a section with a capital value of $6.1 million.
The Real Estate Institute's property is on a section with a capital value of $6.1 million.

The Real Estate Institute (REINZ) has abandoned controversial plans to rebuild its headquarters and will sell the multimillion-dollar building after 27 years to "take advantage of a confident market".

The prime land at 202 Parnell Rd already has council-approved plans for an apartment building at the rear of the building, and is also ripe for a new block of shops at ground level, the real estate agent says.

Bayleys is opening up the sale to overseas buyers through an international tender process as the REINZ looks to relocate to a building on the city fringe, as well as buy an investment property.

The 758sq m building sits on a 1813sq m section, which has a capital value of $6.1 million. The REINZ occupies part of the building and leases part of the lower floor to a trust administration company which generates an annual rental income of $59,624.

REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said it was difficult choosing a real estate agent when it had 11,500 agents as members but it had shortlisted several and granted the sale based on experience.

The sale would allow funds to be re-invested as its membership began to grow in parallel with a recovery in the property markets nationally.

In 2009 and 2011, the REINZ filed plans to expand its building, which upset Monsignor Kevin Hackett from the neighbouring Catholic St John the Baptist Church, who feared shading, increased traffic movement and the potential to destabilise the sloping site.

The plans have now been withdrawn and Ms O'Sullivan said the market was "in a very different place" to when they were drafted.

"The REINZ board, whose members have frontline knowledge of where real estate markets are moving, felt that now was a good time to take advantage of a confident market in Auckland to sell the properties."

Other plans granted in 2009 allow for a four-storey residential development behind the building, including a pair of two-storey dwellings in the middle levels and a penthouse on the top floor.

Bayleys agent Cameron Melhuish said: "All three dwellings will have exceptional views out across Waitemata Harbour from a ridge-line elevation. In addition the residential units would be just a proverbial stone's throw away from Parnell's retail and cafe scene, yet far enough away from that hub to ensure there is virtually no noise from either people or motor vehicle movements."

He said there was potential to expand into retail/commercial premises with shops at ground level and office space above.

- NZ Herald

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