A big chunk of Hastings' largest big-box retail park is under new ownership after Wellington buyers shelled out $21 million to complete the biggest retail sale seen in the city for two years.
After being offered for sale in July, a total of four premises occupied by big-name outlets at the Hastings Park Mega Centre on Karamu Rd have been sold unconditionally to Wellington restaurateurs Clem and Patricia Griffiths.
Independent property valuers Turley and Co said the sale of the properties, comprising the Clearance Shed, Briscoes/Rebel Sport, PETstock and Noel Leeming, reflected a 6.47 per cent yield for a combined annual net rent roll $1,359,100.
"The sale is a significant bellwether and major vote of confidence in the Hawke's Bay economy that is clearly rocking," Turley and Co property valuation and strategy director Pat Turley said.
"The opportunity was chased hard with plenty of competition ... $21m is not an everyday investment in regional commercial property anywhere in New Zealand even though it is four properties sold together.
"PetStock and Noel Leeming have 2.5 to 7.5 years to run and weighted-average lease term 6.3 years. The highest rent and longest remaining lease term is for Briscoes and Rebel Sport at $644,920 per annum and 7.5 years' lease remaining."
Turley said the last local sale of similar magnitude was the Warehouse Hastings in July 2016, at $17.56m, reflecting 6.53 per cent yield with 10.7 years lease to run.
"The Park Mega Centre sale suggests, for the property category, Hawke's Bay is tracking as well or better now than it was in 2017. It's a great story."
Former co-owner Hawke's Bay businessman Warren Ladbrook said the sale was a great result, "confirming our belief in the Hastings and the wider Hawke's Bay markets for investment and further development".
"We're very happy and it will support our other investments in Hastings and Hawke's Bay.
"It's a solid result for Hastings and shows a very buoyant commercial market in Hawke's Bay."
Bayleys Hawke's Bay salesman Rollo Vavasour said the portfolio had attracted a "good amount" of tenders and sold for a low yield.
The premises are located on the larger retail park, which is also used by other large format retailers The Warehouse and Kmart, as well as Kathmandu, Wet & Forget, Godfreys, and Mitre 10 Mega - none of which were included in the sale.
The greater park is situated on what was formerly the Nelson Park athletics track and grandstand.
The sale of the land, then owned by Hastings District Council, was settled in 2008 for $18.6m.