K Rd character building to bank on

By Colin Taylor

Central city property an opportunity for owner-occupier retailer or developer.

The 1920s building in K Rd was designed in the neo-classical style.
The 1920s building in K Rd was designed in the neo-classical style.

The two-level 1920s former ANZ Bank building in Karangahape Rd is being marketed for sale with an art gallery occupying the upper floor and vacant modern retail space downstairs.

It is one of few character buildings in K Rd with an earthquake rating allowing renovation ahead of earthquake proofing says Jeff Brill of NAI Harcourts, who is marketing it for sale by auction on Wednesday, September 18.

"The building at 312 Karangahape Rd on the corner with East St would suit either an owner-occupier of a retail business wanting to set up in that area or someone looking to develop the property long term," Brill says.

He says the 607sq m building passes the Auckland City Council's 33 per cent earthquake rating, which means a new owner can refurbish it with consents in place, without having to carry out earthquake proofing beforehand.

"This is a big plus for any character building today with the new stringent earthquake regulations because it is far less expensive and it gives an owner much more flexibility in what they can do," Brill says.

The 376sq m freehold site can be redeveloped as the building does not have a heritage status.

It has a road frontage on K Rd of 10.87m and 29.06m along East St and a three-metre-wide pedestrian veranda extending along a glazed retail frontage with automatic opening doors.

The high-profile corner site was occupied in 1928 by the forerunner to the ANZ Bank which vacated it recently. The space occupied by an art gallery consists of several offices and showrooms, two of which have the original steel built-in safes installed for the bank along with many other early 20th-century architectural features.

The building was constructed for the Union Bank of Australia & New Zealand and designed by Mahoney & Sons. It shows the move away from the ornate Victorian Italianate of some Auckland properties last century to the simpler neo-classical styles of the interwar years and its elegant character facade and parapet detail are largely unaltered.

Mahoney & Sons was one of Auckland's most prolific and respected architectural practices with numerous bank, church and commercial projects under their belt extending back to the 1870s, many of which still stand. Edward Mahoney and his son Thomas were both exponents of the Gothic Revival and other styles, especially built in wood, but also in masonry and concrete. They made a considerable contribution to Auckland's architectural heritage and some of their buildings have heritage ratings.

The first floor of the former ANZ Bank building has been home to art dealership Ivan Anthony Gallery for 15 years. The gallery has its entrance off East St and occupies the first floor at a net annual rental income of $38,843.

Gallery owner Ivan Anthony says the upstairs was empty and derelict when he took over the space all those years ago, but it has worked very well for his business and his artists ever since.

"It is a lovely old building with memory and there are very few of them left in the city now. The building is part of the gallery's identity," he says.

Brill says the property is within the Karangahape Precinct of strategic management Area 4 which means it can achieve a maximum height of 35m above street level.

"If the proposed unitary plan allows for more fringe city apartments in this area, then this property could conceivably become another character apartment building with floors added. There is certainly enough demand for residential accommodation in Auckland currently. The upper floor is full of character features and it has a nice aspect being reasonably elevated above the K Rd ridge."

Brill says the market for fringe city buildings like this one, and those in the inner-city, has taken off in the past 12 months, with investors believing business confidence and Auckland's growth will underpin the commercial market long term.

What's on offer?

The property: Former ANZ bank building.
Address: 312 Karangahape Rd, Auckland CBD.
Sales method: By auction, Wednesday, September 18.
Agency: NAI Harcourts.

* Freehold two-level character building.
* Constructed 1928 but no heritage status.
* Long-term art gallery tenant.
* High-profile corner retail location.

- NZ Herald

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