‘Big Apple’ building for sale in Auckland CBD

9:00 AM Monday May 9, 2016 Paul Charman

The building’s exterior at 28 Lorne St features fancy masonry facade and a snappy yellow paint job

On the basis of look and context, a three-level-building for sale in the Auckland CBD is reminiscent of similar structures near New York’s famous Central Park.

The decorated masonry facade, sash windows and elegant yellow paint job would all be quite at home in the Big Apple, especially since the address — 28 Lorne St — puts the elegant building right in the middle of Auckland’s art and education precinct.

The agent for the sale is boutique property company Wilson Hurst, whose headquarters now use the building’s high-stud top storey.

Brimming with history as the former home to Love Story Fashions, Lollipops strip club and Ceroc Dance Studios, among many others, the building is thought to be nearly 120 years old, says Wilson Hurst’s managing director, Finn Hurst.

“To us the characterful architecture is particularly easy on the eyes, and this could well be a crucial selling point for some potential purchasers.

“But with the potential earthquake strengthening work looming, the potential for a medium-term hold with future development options will appeal to others.

“Hence we believe that this building will suit either an investor keen to preserve its unique attributes for his or her tenants, or alternatively a developer keen to utilise the site for something new, either now or in the future.”

28 Lorne Street top floor high stud office.jpg

The interior has high stud space with polished wooden floors.

City Centre, Queen St Valley Precinct zoning allows a replacement structure with floor plates six times the land area. Within certain additional consent constraints from Auckland Council, possibly 10 times the land areas, says Hurst.

He points out that such a project would be streamlined by the fact that all five tenants — now on one-to-six-year leases — have agreed to a demolition clause.

The freehold building is being offered for sale by a tender process, closing on May 18 at 4pm, unless sold earlier by negotiation.

Hurst puts present high levels of interest in the offering down to, “an exciting location close to Auckland City’s art gallery, university and many boutique retailers, bars and restaurants nearby”.

“I’ll draw a chorus of ‘he would say that wouldn’t he’, but to me this part of town really can claim a Bohemian atmosphere.

“For example, at nearby Khartoum Place, our pedestrianised city square, where students meet in coffee bars and all kinds of buskers and other musicians perform.

“This flavour seems unique in Auckland City, making the locality wonderful in which to live and work. And though our building may lack its own parking, with two parking buildings just a few minutes’ walk away this seems to be no great drawback.”