Survivor has many years to go

By Colin Taylor

Historic wooden building on the waterfront one of the few that weathered the 1931 quake.

The building at 58 West Quay, Ahuriri, has a proud history. Photo / Supplied
The building at 58 West Quay, Ahuriri, has a proud history. Photo / Supplied

A historic Napier harbour property that survived a devastating earthquake and which now houses an award-winning cafe is for sale for the first time in 50 years.

Campbell Thornton of Campbell Thornton Realty, Havelock North, who is marketing the property for sale by negotiation, says the building at 58 West Quay, Ahuriri, was constructed in 1882 by Kinross and Co.

It was originally used as a woolstore then as a stock and station agency.

Thornton says the building contains native timber floors, walls and beams that came from a "70 mile bush" stretch of forest between Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay with the railway from Napier having reached Ormondville between Waipukurau and Dannevirke in 1880.

With another adjoining wooden building at 56 West Quay, which served as a woolstore for Williams & Kettle, 58 West Quay was one of the few buildings to remain standing after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Napier and Hawkes Bay on February 3, 1931 killing 256 people.

Thornton says there are two separate leases in place for the building and six rear car parks both signed to the bar and cafe Hep Set Mooch, a winner of the Hawkes Bays' Best Cafe award. There are 24 car parks.

The two leases have a combined income of $42,000 a year with the cafe tenant paying all the outgoings.

The property has 1883sq m of freehold land and a building floor area of 1065sq m, made up of a ground-floor area of 951.23sq m and a mezzanine area of 113.27sq m which is used for an office and storage. The building has the benefit of a 26.85m waterfront frontage and is on level land. The owners put a new roof on the building in 2010.

"It is in a prime quayside location within the Ahuriri inner harbour precinct, which has become a centre for a number of cafes, restaurants and bars, about 4km from central Napier," Thornton says.

"Other nearby properties include office and retail developments, motels, hotel and apartments."It currently has a rating valuation of $1.9 million of which $1.7 million is in the freehold land."

Thornton says he feels the property will appeal to investors looking to add value to it and developers who are willing to hold on to the building until the leases expire.

"Plans could then be put into place to increase the rental stream or develop the site to its full potential.

"Under a West Quay Waterfront zoning, the front facade of the building is required to stay but development could be undertaken toward the rear of the property."

Thornton believes the best future uses for the property would be for more hospitality businesses or office space.

He says West Quay runs in a southerly direction from Customs Quay to Pandora Rd, with No 58 being on the eastern side of the road.

"It is close to Lever St intersection and there is access to Lever St from the rear of the property.

"The property is also adjacent to the railway reserve which runs parallel to Bridge St and Hyderabad Rd that accesses the Port of Napier from the Napier rail yards in Pandora."

What's on offer

On the market: Napier retail property
Address: 58 West Quay, Ahuriri
Agent: Campbell Thornton, Havelock North
Sales method: By negotiation
Features: Historic character building
Harbourside location
Added value and development potential.

- NZ Herald

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