A converted character villa in Herne Bay, occupied by the Empress Garden Chinese restaurant, is one of 22 properties that will go under the hammer on October 31 as part of Bayleys' biggest commercial and industrial auction so far this year.

The villa at 227 Jervois Rd was constructed in the early 1900s and sits on a 726sq m freehold site zoned Business 1. Various additions have been made to the premises over the years and it now has a gross floor area of approximately 180sq m.

The property, featured in Bayleys' latest Greater Auckland portfolio, is being marketed by James Chan and Nicolas Ching of Bayleys Auckland.

Chan says the popular restaurant, which has been a fixture in the inner-city suburb for many years, has won a number of accolades and awards, and is well known for its signature Peking Duck dish.


"In my experience it has been one of the few Auckland Chinese dining establishments that over the years has made diners feel as if they really were in a Chinatown, with its hanging red lanterns adorning the ceiling throughout and the oriental feel of the place enhanced by its bright rich red and dark green decor."

The Empress Garden tenancy last year exercised the first of two six-year rights of renewal in its lease, which is currently producing net annual rental income of $78,000.

The licensed restaurant is divided into various sections and rooms and has a fully equipped commercial kitchen. At the rear of the building is a large sealed onsite parking area with access from Herne Bay and Jervois Rds for customers.

Chan says the immediate area around the restaurant is made up of a mix of modern commercial buildings and villas similar to the restaurant, mainly on subdivided sites, which are either residential or have been converted for commercial use.

"The large surrounding upmarket residential catchment provides a ready source of clientele for the commercial premises, which are rarely vacant and when they do come up for sale there is always strong investor interest in them," he says.

"Given the property's prominent corner position on a large site, it has development potential longer term."