Parnell property ripe for redevelopment

By Colin Taylor

The Parnell property at 99-115 St Georges Bay Rd sits on 2585sq m on a high profile site.
The Parnell property at 99-115 St Georges Bay Rd sits on 2585sq m on a high profile site.

A big corner property in Parnell, which served for two generations as the base of the family owned EC Attwood packaging business, is on the market for the first time in 40 years, offering prime land bank and redevelopment opportunities to a purchaser.

The 2585sq m freehold property at 99-115 St Georges Bay Rd in Parnell is a high profile site with frontage to three streets. It sits prominently between the Textile Centre to its north and the Axis Building to its south, in a mixed use zone.

"This is a landmark property, fully tenanted on five short term leases, earning about $187,000 net per annum but its greatest value is in the land," says John Davies of Colliers International, who is marketing the property with colleague Kris Ongley.

The property, featured in Colliers International's latest New Zealand Portfolio, will be sold by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Friday, May 16, unless it sells earlier.

Davies says such a large freehold site in a popular location near the CBD will heighten the interest in the property.

"It's a significant corner site with three road frontages and favourable zoning for a new residential, commercial or mixed use development. As such it represents a stellar opportunity for a savvy developer or land banker to secure a significant landholding in one of Auckland's most desirable suburbs, with the benefit of holding income.

"The owner's company has grown substantially since the early days and the head office and main facility has been relocated to East Tamaki. This Parnell building is now surplus to company needs, resulting in the decision to sell."

The site comprises two buildings extending along St Georges Bay Rd between Cleveland Rd and Faraday St.

The building at 109-115 St Georges Bay Rd on the corner of Faraday St is a large open span character warehouse showroom occupied by Gourmet Carpets trading as Re Source Mondial, which pays yearly rent of $110,000.

The other building at 99-107 St Georges Bay Rd, at the corner of Cleveland Rd, consists of warehouse space, storage bays, offices and a showroom. Four tenants on short term leases, with the longest expiring in March 2015, pay a total of $76,780 in annual rent.

"The tenancies will offer holding income while a developer is making plans for the site," Davies says. "The property is in a Mixed Use zone under both the Operative District Plan and the Proposed Unitary Plan. There are very few sites of this size that come available so close to Auckland's CBD."

Under the current zoning the property will enable various options including residential units, office space, care centres, visitor accommodation, or retail premises, with a building height of up to 15 metres. The Unitary Plan proposes an increase in height to 16.5 metres.

Ongley says the location is likely to draw strong interest from developers and investors looking to build a new commercial, residential or mixed use development.

"Parnell is a thriving urban community with a mix of office space, retail and residential property on the fringe of the CBD, with a growing population - all important to a successful redevelopment," Ongley says. "Parnell is New Zealand's oldest suburb with historic buildings, several parks, and many galleries and cafes. The suburb has one of the most affluent demographics in Auckland, and it continues to increase in popularity for both residential and business uses.

"It is within walking distance of Auckland's CBD and is well-linked to the city and the outer suburbs via rail and bus. Motorists have access to the motorway system via The Strand and Stanley St. The excellent transportation links in Parnell are a big attraction for office workers and residents alike."

The suburb's connections will soon improve even further with the development by Auckland Transport of a new train station at Parnell near Cheshire St, due to open in late 2015.

The property is owned by the Attwood family which launched a successful packaging business more than 60 years ago from the site. In 1953, Eddie Attwood started a one-man operation from a friend's warehouse, selling his first order of a single bale of two ply medium lashing to his landlord and later branching out into other products such as greaseproof paper for butchers. Still 100 per cent owned by a second generation of family members, the multi-million dollar business now employs 50 staff and provides a comprehensive range of packaging supplies from five branches throughout New Zealand.

David Nicoll, a Parnell solicitor who has documented the property's history, says the building on the corner of Faraday St, 109-115 St Georges Bay Rd, was built in 1936 and operated for 30 years as a paper store before it was bought by the Attwoods.

"The [99-107 St Georges Road] building on the corner with Cleveland Rd was built in 1955 to replace an extraordinary building known as Paddy's Puzzle, which had become derelict," Nicoll says. "The Puzzle was owned for many years by Paddy Gleeson, and was reputed to house a brothel in its last years. Mavis Attwood then purchased it about 40 years ago, to house the expanding business. Although the family moved the EC Attwood head office and principal warehouse to East Tamaki a few years ago, there is still a retail outlet for the company's packaging supplies on the property. But the time has come for a new owner to redevelop the property."

- NZ Herald

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