Two gourmet supermarket chains have been identified as potential tenants for a big warehouse and retail building that straddles the gateway to Rotorua's central mall precinct and the city's large format shopping zone, says the agent who is marketing it.
The prominent property at 1257 Amohau St on the corner with Amohia St previously housed hardware supply outlet Hammer Hardware before that store moved to Te Ngae Rd. The building is now jointly occupied by vacuum cleaner outlet Godfreys and by gift and homeware stockist No. 1 Mart Clearance Store, which both have their leases coming up for termination later this year.
"High-end niche supermarket operators Nosh Food Market and Farro Fresh have both been identified as potential new tenants for the site," says Mark Rendell, Bayleys Rotorua commercial sales person, who is offering the building for sale by auction on September 12.
"Nosh Food Market has previously been known to be looking for a highly visible Rotorua location," Rendell says. Farro has three Auckland outlets, while Nosh has five sites in Auckland and has been expanding its sights further south - opening operations in Hamilton and Tauranga.
"Both chains are focused on delivering shoppers an 'all-under-one-roof' retail experience, encompassing fresh fruit and produce, chilled and frozen butchery items, bakery, deli, and wine and beer lines," says Rendell. "Stocked items - many from boutique food and beverage producers - are generally priced above standard supermarket lines.
"With large roller door access from the rear of the premises, and 11 designated car parking spaces as well as street parking immediately in front, the building is well positioned to once again take on the mantle of a bulk retail store - for the likes of a new player to the supermarket scene, a home furnishings destination, DIY, a computer and electrical retailer, a carpet and flooring showroom, home decorating outlet, large fitness centre or a whiteware stockist."
Rendell says he has already fielded several calls from local developers who are also interested in the site.
The 1122sq m building sits on two blocks of land totalling 1518sq m on a high-profile corner. Retail businesses nearby include Farmers, Harvey Norman, The Warehouse, Briscoes, Lighting Plus, and Rebel Sport.
Rendell says the building's position on Amohau St (SH 30A) ensures a high traffic count. Much of that was heading to, or heading from, the city's 12.6ha bulk retail zone.
The premises generates rental revenue of $112,500, plus GST, from the current tenant. The freehold is held by the Ngati Whakaue Education Endowment Trust Board through a rolling 21-year lease of $41,212 per annum. "The tenancies with Godfreys and No. 1 Mart run through until the end of next year - thereby delivering an initial holding income while alternative plans could be drawn up for redeveloping the premises if required or allowing for the potential relocation of an owner occupier."
The building is about 10 years old and is built from concrete block walls, with clear-span steel beams supporting an apex roof. An under-used upper mezzanine floor of 70sq m is suitable for conversion into additional offices. Staff amenities on the lower level include a shared kitchen and staffroom, and toilet facilities.
"With an eye to retailing trends in the UK, there has been some discussion that the mezzanine level could be converted into a licensed cafe area - enabling husbands who may not possess the same 'retail therapy' stamina as their wives, to enjoy a beer and a pizza while their other half does the shopping down below.
"Branching out from that is the potential for developing part or all of the lower level into a commercially-run children's play zone, while retaining the cafe concept upstairs so mum and dad can watch their children playing safely while enjoying a quiet coffee," says Rendell.