An early-1900s' upstairs-downstairs property in Petone's heritage precinct, with long-standing connections to the village's pharmacists - one of whom was an All Black - is piquing the interest of prospective buyers.
The 'split-personality' character property at 216 Jackson St, has had only three owners in its lifetime. The present vendors have owned the property for 25 years and are the third owners in nearly 100 years.
"The upstairs apartment challenges the idea that apartment living means compromising on space," says Andrew Smith of Bayleys, who is marketing the property with colleague, Paul Cudby, for sale by auction on Thursday, October 26.
The roomy 175sq m renovated bay villa apartment sits atop ground floor retail premises originally built in the 1920s for local chemist, Charles Williamson. Following in Williamson's footsteps, and up until the early 1990s, the property was owned and occupied by well-known pharmacist and popular local identity Rod Heeps, who played rugby for Wellington and for the All Blacks during the 1962 tour to Australia.
The separately-accessed 138sq m ground floor is now occupied by a dairy with amenities and storage to the rear. While the facilities have been upgraded over the years, the layout is thought to be largely original to Williamson's days, Smith says.
There is an open courtyard to the rear of the shop and ground floor area which could be converted to two additional car parks with access off the adjacent Hutt City Council service lane.
Upstairs, however, it's far more luxurious with the current owners of the property having embarked on a quality renovation that included strengthening the building.
"The distinctive bay window of the upstairs accommodation is often admired by those doing the self-guided Historic Petone Trail and they'd be amazed to see what lies behind it," says Smith.
"The three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with separate kitchen and enclosed conservatory to the rear was completely and empathetically refurbished in 2009 retaining timber joinery, leadlight windows and other 1920s' architectural features.
"It's essentially a villa - without the shackles of a suburban garden but with on-site parking - located in the thriving Petone village centre and handy to a boutique cinema, broad retail outlets and close to arterial transport routes."
The property is fully-leased on periodic tenancies and has been assessed as having a potential net annual rental value of $60,817 per annum plus GST.
"As it stands, there are numerous possible scenarios for a new owner," explains Smith.
"They could occupy part or all of the property, or work with the existing tenants to achieve market level rents as the property is believed to be under-rented', or remodel the ground floor to give greater efficiencies."
He says the gentrification of the former-industrial suburb is on-going and investors are drawn to the fundamentals that Petone's seaside location offers.
"Property for sale in Petone's heritage precinct is traditionally met with a competitive zeal," says Cudby.
"Petone continues to develop as Wellington's fastest growing destination retail area, characterised by boutique shopping and big box retail enclaves, along with desirable residential opportunities and eclectic hospitality offerings.
"Add in the central location and it's easy to see why Petone has emerged as the darling of the Hutt Valley."