Handshake may seal historic lodge deal

By Colin Taylor

Chance to buy a slice of Masterton's heritage in a high exposure location with long-term tenant

The beauty of the former Masonic lodge building at 109 Chapel St, Masterton, is highlighted in this evening shot.
The beauty of the former Masonic lodge building at 109 Chapel St, Masterton, is highlighted in this evening shot.

The property is leased to a highly regarded restaurant, bar and function centre operator.

A striking former Masonic lodge and designated heritage property now housing a hospitality business on State Highway 2 in Wairarapa is about to go under the hammer.

The building at 109 Chapel St, Masterton, was purpose designed as a hall with offices for the Masonic Trust in 1926 and is being marketed for auction on September 19 by Bayleys agents Grant Young from Wellington and Mark Morison from Masterton.

Young says the property underwent significant upgrading and additions in 2001 to convert it to its current format housing the Aberdeen restaurant, bar and function room.

A designated historic propertyg, it is listed as a natural and historic heritage site on the Wairarapa Combined District Council plan.

"As it is protected, any changes to the building require resource consent," Young says.

"This is a chance for someone to buy a slice of Masterton's history and secure an investment heritage property in a high exposure location. Furthermore it is tenanted with more than 10 years remaining on the lease to a highly regarded restaurant, bar and function centre over two levels, along with an outdoor deck and dining area."

Morison says the building is within Masterton's CBD only 200 metres from the main retail precinct where it is exposed to a high volume of passing vehicle and foot traffic.

"Adjoining tenants include Super Cheap, Pizza Hut, BP, Farmers and AON Insurance, with surrounding properties comprising largely low-to-medium-rise commercial buildings providing retail or offices on the ground floor and offices above."

The building is constructed of concrete piles and foundations, timber floors, reinforced concrete external walls, and a galvanised corrugated iron roof and timber trusses.

An outdoor deck and dining area face west, leading to the main entry, which houses the main dining area, bar and several booths for intimate dining. On the northeastern side of the property are male and female toilets, with an adjoining "green room" for smaller functions. The kitchen and a storage area are at the rear.

Upstairs is a function room with polished floors, a large projector screen and newly installed bar which can comfortably seat 120 people. On this level there are further toilets, a laundry, and a manager's office.

Morison says the building has undergone several stages of earthquake strengthening and upgrading to bring it to a standard 60 per cent above the current code while retaining the property's special charm.

"The several stages of refurbishment have been sympathetic to the building's original design, character and heritage," he says. "It features a high ceiling, good natural light and a warm, ambient atmosphere, which contribute to a pleasant dining experience."

The freehold building zoned commercial has a land area of 809sq m and a capital value of $900,000, made up of a land value of $225,000 and improvements of $675,000.

The Aberdeen Limited is on a 16 year lease, commencing October 2007. It has an eight-year right of renewal, and pays a net annual rental of $92,000 plus GST, and all of the outgoings.

The popular Wairarapa restaurant, which caters for full meals, lighter servings and bar snacks, uses produce and ingredients from local farmers, vineyards, olive groves and cheese makers including Kingsmeade Cheese, Tararua Range olive oils, Marconee Fresh Fish and Anderson Meats.

- NZ Herald

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