Barfoot portfolio goes national

9:23 AM Saturday October 4, 2014 Colin Taylor

The historic art deco Capitol Theatre is for sale at 602-616 Dominion Rd in the Balmoral area.

Barfoot and Thompson Commercial has launched its last Insite portfolio magazine for the year, departing from its traditional Auckland and Northland regional format to include listings from partner companies within the greater New Zealand Realtors network.

"This is our largest ever with over 60 pages of commercial property on offer across the entire country," says Barfoot and Thompson commercial manager John Urlich.

Featuring prominently in the portfolio with Barfoot and Thompson are the commercial teams from Lodge in Hamilton, Tommys in Wellington and Property Brokers in both the North and South Islands.

Urlich says the Realtors Network was established in 2006 and is a collection of real estate firms throughout the country that work together on a regular basis to feature commercial listings and service the needs of their commercial clients.

The network includes 155 real estate offices and 2550 staff.

"From Northland to Invercargill, the members of the group specialise in both rural and commercial property," Urlich says.

"In this latest portfolio Barfoot and Thompson continues to cover Auckland and Northland; Lodge Real Estate, the Waikato; Property Brokers, the central North Island and the South Island; Tommys represents Wellington; Summit Real Estate, Nelson and Blenheim; Cowdys Christchurch; and Southern Wide covers Dunedin.

"Working as independents in their regions the members of the group have carved out enviable niches as local experts with most of their experienced commercial staff having long track records of completing transactions with Barfoot and Thompson."

Barfoots features prominently in the portfolio with a diverse offering of properties from Auckland and Northland and Tommys has properties from the Wellington region.

Urlich says commercial property activity has been buoyed by post-election demand.

"We've had a healthy increase in inquiries since the recent election result which did a lot to reduce the typical fortnight of post-election malaise seen in the past.

"As in the residential sector, we noticed an increase in commercial customer confidence within the first week with demand - particularly for city investment property and development sites - now at higher levels than we have seen in recent years."

A feature Auckland property in the Insite publication, being marketed by Reese Barragar, has city frontages in Sale St and Cook St. The five-level building at 68 Sale St is leased to the well-established Screentime, which produces television shows and documentaries.

The site has 1381sq m of land, two buildings, and two floors of car parking.

The three-level building at the rear at 109 Cook St has a mixture of tenancies and encompasses a lettable area of 1366sq m. Barragar says the two properties occupy a strategic position within an area of Auckland's CBD that is undergoing a lot of renewal.

"This locality is becoming more centralised annually as both Herne Bay and Ponsonby to the West, and The Viaduct and Western Reclamation to the north, experience an upsurge in redevelopment," he says.

"Specifically, Victoria St West has recently seen the construction of Telecom's head office campus and Oracle House, and the significant upgrade of Victoria Park Markets.

Goodman is building's Fonterra's new office headquarters on Halsey St along with its own "spec" 8500sq m office building called VXV on an adjacent site.

Also nearby, Mansons TCLM is completing 'The Boutique' apartment development on-top of the Victoria Park car park." Barragar says future redevelopment of the Sale-Cook St properties is a possibility but no structural refurbishment is necessary.

"Recent seismic assessments undertaken by Auckland Council have seen both these properties exceed the commonly accepted threshold of 70 per cent of National Building Standards," he says. "Additionally, it is rare to find a standalone property of modern construction on a freehold title in such a popular area.

"It simply just ticks so many boxes as a current investment property having future potential. "

Among the heritage properties in the portfolio is the historic Capitol Theatre at 602-616 Dominion Rd in Balmoral.

The Art Deco multi-tenanted retail property - known throughout the 1980s and 90s as Charlie Gray's Cinema - is being sold by Murray Tomlinson and Cam Patterson.

Recently the Capitol Theatre building has been leased to a popular climbing centre called Clip'n'Climb.

Another notable investment property is a building at 127 Meadowland Drive in Meadowlands, East Auckland, being marketed by Kim Loo and Paul Vermaak.

The property has one standalone title with four separate tenancies: a BNZ Bank, two restaurants and a childcare centre.

The 2126sq m site occupies a corner site in a conventional L-shaped configuration.

Vermaak says the tenant mix is anchored by the modern BNZ bank which pays $128,550 a year in rent on a nine-year lease term. "The two restaurants are fairly rented at a similar annual rental of about $128,000 and the more conservatively rented childcare facility returns around $55,000 per annum."

Vermaak says the property has an excellent position. "Its high-profile visibility is superb and its car park caters well for the patrons of all the tenant properties. Its location is pivotal in that the complex services the high end residential suburbs of greater Howick including customers from Dannemora, Botany Downs, Cockle Bay, Shelly Park and Mellons Bay."

Vermaak says the properties have been well managed as modern retail outlets. "They were built in the 1990s on one standalone title but a purchaser could consider the potential for a re-titling into four individual units in the future."

Over on the North Shore, a retail strip at 967 Beach Rd, Torbay, is being marketed by Bruce Jiao and Gary Seekup as an ideal investment property for smaller investors.

The multi-tenanted property generates rent of $103,445 net a year and is described as "a superior example of an older style suburban strip mall" with rear and off-street car parking, and excellent frontage to a roundabout.

Urlich says the North Shore features a host of development sites in the Insite portfolio magazine, including excellent apartment redevelopment sites at 33 to 35 Anzac St, Takapuna and other development sites as far north as Silverdale.

One notable site has a "grandstand location" bounding the North Harbour QBE Stadium at 178 Albany Expressway and is on the market for the first time in 90 years.

Agent Chase Erceg says the lot comprises 5392sq m of land and is well suited to redevelopment. "It is in the original heart of the Albany precinct and only a stone's throw from the Albany Village," Erceg says.

"It is also close to the Massey University campus, Orchard Park and the Westfield retail centre. Fronting the expressway, it has a Special Purpose 12 zoning that permits activities ranging from childcare to accommodation and community uses."

Urlich says investors and purchasers interested in properties and development opportunities outside the Auckland region should obtain a copy of the new Insite portfolio to see what is on offer through the Realtors Network.