Hospitality venue is heaven-sent

By Colin Taylor

The Church accommodation and restaurant complex on Coromandel offered for sale as freehold property.

The Church restaurant is a popular wedding venue.
The Church restaurant is a popular wedding venue.

A popular Coromandel hospitality property that has a near-century old church as one of its feature buildings is up for sale as a freehold property and going concern business.

The Church accommodation and restaurant complex at Hahei on the Coromandel Peninsula encompasses a restaurant within the historic former Methodist church building plus 11 en suite cottages, five of them fully self-contained and the rest with limited cooking facilities.

Located on a 6600sq m site at 87-91 Hahei Beach Rd, the land, buildings and business are featured for sale in Bayleys' latest Total Property magazine and are being sold by tenders closing on December 3 by Mary Walker and Greg Dickie of Bayleys' Whitianga office.

The Church complex has recently received approval to connect to the Hahei wastewater system, giving a new buyer the opportunity to develop the property further.

Walker said The Church had been popular with both domestic and international visitors but had been constrained by the number of people that could be accommodated on site including in the restaurant - because of its limited wastewater system.

"It is now able to connect up to the public system and, with the availability of good building platforms on the substantial site, there is future redevelopment potential offering a new owner the opportunity to add considerable value," she said.

The Church complex has been owned and developed by Richard Agnew and Karen Blair over 15 years, starting with the relocation of the 1916 Taumaranui Methodist Church on to the site in 1998.

They turned the lovingly restored church into a licensed restaurant and added a mezzanine level to accommodate a two-bedroom owner's flat and embarked on a programme of building the cottages for guests, using native timber and leadlight windows

Dickie said the cottages were in keeping with The Church building with arch windows, elevated wooden ceilings, timber floors and joinery but with modern amenities, including en suites. "All are north-facing with French doors opening on to sunny decks and private gardens offering a peaceful and relaxed setting for guests."

The accommodation is configured as a block of four open-plan studio units with tea and coffee-making facilities and French doors on to the verandas; three stand-alone cottages with the same layout but on a larger scale and more private than the units; and four fully self-contained cottages with a separate bedroom and extra sleeping in the living area with two having wood fires.

There is also a three-bedroom home, originally designed as the manager's residence which is currently being used as additional guest accommodation for families or larger groups, boosting the income stream.

Dickie said The Church is a popular wedding and function venue and this side of the business could be expanded further to attract more functions or retreats employing a small function and conference room that doubles as a guest room and library. The restaurant is leased out and provides regular income.

Walker said the accommodation had good occupancy levels because it is within walking distance of Hahei's key tourist attractions of Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach and it is well priced.

What's on offer?

The property: 6600sq m freehold site and guest house.
Where: 87-91 Hahei Beach Rd, Coromandel Peninsula.
Agency: Bayleys Whitianga office.
Sales method: By tender closing on Tuesday December 3.
*Includes 1916 historic church building.
*11 guest cottages and restaurant.
*Add value and development potential.
*Near Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove.

- NZ Herald

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