Three vacant stratum-in-freehold levels within Auckland's distinctive multi-glass facade Mid City Centre in Queen Street are for sale by mortgagee sale.
"The sale by the first mortgagee represents an opportunity for developers and investors to purchase a property in the heart of the Auckland CBD at a fraction of its replacement cost," says Jack Downer of Barfoot & Thompson Commercial who, with colleague Mark Stevens, has a sole agency to market the property.
Levels 3, 4 & 5 at 239 Queen St are for sale by tender closing at 4pm on Wednesday August 10 and they will not be sold prior to the closure of tenders at the agency's office in 50 Kitchener Street.
Level 3 comprises a net lettable area of 2090sq m; Level 4 is 2108sq m; and Level 5 encompasses 300sq m.
The first two levels of the building are already occupied by a number of retailing and dining businesses.
"Levels 3 and 4 are among the largest available floor plates available on Queen Street which makes them ideal for large format retail, office or community use," Downer says.
"The property's zoning also allows for potential residential redevelopment and the deed of land covenant gives the owner of the three unit titles the right to develop in the airspace above the existing building."
Downer says the three levels have "had a chequered history" following the closure of the Force Corporation cinema complex on the floors around 1990. "This includes a failed food hall and market concept."
He says that, being purpose built as a cinema complex, the property could easily be converted back to this use with demand for CBD movie centres having increased substantially over the past 16 years due to a big rise in Auckland's inner city apartment dwellers and greatly increased resident student population. "The property's central CBD location and its floor sizes would also suit an entertainment and amusement centre."
Stevens says there are a number of other options for owner-occupier use of the three levels.
"Under the current Auckland plan the property would suit a bulk retailer needing floor plates larger than 2000 square metres. The Warehouse has just moved into its new nearby premises into the Atrium on Elliot opposite the rear entrance ofRebel Sport which has just refurbished its premises.
"Other major retailers that have relocated to this vicinity include Top Shop which has relocated into the old ANZ Bank premises on the corner of Queen St and Victoria St; and Farmers which is now established in the former Whitcoulls' premises also on the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets. Another significant retailer Cotton On has occupied the former Farmers' space at 242 Queen St."
Stevens says another option for use of the available levels is conversion into student residences. "There is already a shortage of student accommodation in Auckland city and the University of Auckland's services are concentrating towards the city and to Newmarket as the Tamaki campus is vacated.
"The levels in 239 Queen Street also have the capacity to house 200 apartments making this a 'must view' property for accommodation developers."
Stevens says other potential buyers could include call centres or IT centres. "Having over an acre [4000sq m] of open floor space over two levels makes this property ideal for this use, along with being handy to regular public transport services and many retail outlets for staff."
He says another group which could be interested in the three levels because of its central city location and former movie use are churches, religious or community organisations.
"Because the large levels have layouts that were designed for cinemas, they would make ideal auditoriums to cater for large gatherings of people."