A new owner is being sought for the Mid City Centre in central Christchurch.
Owned by the late Nam Yee, the high-profile property is home to more than 100 office staff and a mix of retailers – including Ballantynes' Contemporary Lounge and North Beach. It comprises a modern three storey building with retail on the ground and first levels. The second level was originally built as a roof top car park and then converted to purpose built offices for a government department in 2013.
Hamish Doig, managing director of Colliers International in Christchurch, is marketing the property in conjunction with director of retail leasing Nick Doig.
"The family is realising the estate and Mid City Centre is the proverbial jewel in the crown of the portfolio. Nam was a very astute investor and totally committed to the Christchurch CBD where he owned several properties over the decades. This is the first time the property has been available in more than 20 years.
"There's growing investor interest in Christchurch, being fuelled by both private high net worth individuals and syndicators who are looking for a viable solution to their diminishing incomes due to falling interest rates. With the official cash rate at a record one per cent, depositors are feeling huge pressure to find alternative areas to place their capital. Commercial property is a natural home to satisfy this burgeoning demand."
Earlier this year, Colliers sold the nearby EntX cinema complex on behalf of Calder Stewart for $48.4 million.
Located at 663 Colombo St, in the city block bounded by Lichfield, Colombo and Cashel Streets, Mid City Centre is flanked by two car park buildings comprising 1439 car parks and close to Cashel Mall, The Crossing and the new Riverside Farmers Market.
Nick Doig said national and international brands are now staking their claim in the Retail Precinct with the recent opening of Kate Sylvester and Kathmandu in Cashel Mall while General Pants, Decjuba and Platypus shoes will all be open shortly.
"A lot of brands were waiting to see how the Retail Precinct unfolded but they're certainly now highly motivated to be in the CBD, encouraged by the culmination of several large projects. It means they can really see the shape of the city."
Nam Yee was born in China and initially moved to New Zealand with his parents when he was 12 years old to flee the Japanese occupation. He attended Christ's College from 1943 to 1945. He returned to China in 1945, after the end of the war, where he attended the influential Lin Ying university. But when the communists subsequently took hold of the south of China, Nam returned to make his life in New Zealand.
An ardent supporter of the inner city, Nam's CBD portfolio also included 88 Cashel (the former Cafe Bleu and Bar) site, 92-94 Gloucester St (formerly Gloucester St Bar and Grill), 777 Colombo St (previously Mandarin Restaurant), and the Frontrunner building on the corner of Lichfield and Colombo Sts.
Nam always lived in the city and liked owning property in the CBD because they were all within walking distance of his home. He enjoyed the exercise too and in the post-earthquake years would regularly walk around and watch all the new construction happening in the city.
The site at 88 Cashel Mall has been redeveloped since the earthquakes with a three storey building which is nearly complete.
The other three properties were acquired by the Crown. The Frontrunner site is now home to the Bus Interchange, the Mandarin Restaurant land forms part of the Convention Centre, together with the Gloucester St Bar and Grill site.
The Mid City Centre property is now offered for sale by Deadline Private Treaty (unless sold prior) closing 4pm,October 31 2019.