The near-new Farmers department store and its neighbouring retail stores in central Whanganui is up for sale.

Owner, property developer CJ Efstratiou, has handed the marketing over to an international real estate company and expressions of interest are open until the end of this month.
he biggest shop in the new Victoria Retail Centre, Farmers has a floor area of 5500 sq m on two levels linked by escalators. It has 78 car parks and it one of 55 Farmers stores across the country

The currently empty retail stores fronting Victoria Ave which share the same carpark are also part of the sale.

he Farmers store opened in February last year and has a 25-year lease on its building.


John Binning, a spokesman for the marketing agency, said the car park is also included in the sale.

Mr Binning said the lease is returning $200 p sq m and brings in more than $1.1 million annually. That lease expires in 2040.

He said there is 1180 sq m of speciality retail space in the shops facing the Avenue and these could be split into various tenancies to suit.

"This space is currently vacant but there are several interested parties in negotiations. Consequently, the vendor is prepared to grant an 18-month rental guarantee," he said.

"These premises have the potential to bring in $383,500 annually, bringing the total income for the portfolio up to about $1.48 million annually."

And Mr Binning said there was also potential to increase income by letting individual carparks out, as neighbouring carparks have all been let at $300 per month each.

"Wanganui is seeing a two-tier retail leasing market with newer well-located premises obtaining a significant premium, compared to older space. Recent reviews of the Whitcoulls and ANZ premises in Wanganui have seen significant increases, confirming Victoria Avenue rentals can go as high as $450 to $500 per sq m.

"The fact is this is a brand new building meaning the new owner can expect minimal capital outlay on maintenance."