Big North Shore property with many options

5:00 AM Saturday January 30, 2016 Colin Taylor

An aerial of the Wairau Rd frontage view of 182-190 Wairau Rd with the property defined by a red border.

Strong interest from owner occupiers, investors and developers is expected in a large North Shore commercial property which will be available for occupation or further development later this year.

The 9472 sq m Business 9 zoned site at 182 -190 Wairau Rd, which has 3374 sq m of office, workshop and warehouse accommodation, is currently the headquarters of New Zealand’s largest Eftpos provider Smartpay Ltd.

However, the company is relocating to alternative premises on the other side of Wairau Rd and will not be renewing its current seven year lease, when it expires on September 1 this year.

“This will unlock numerous options for purchasers,” says Matt Mimmack of Bayleys North Shore Commercial who, with colleagues Ranjan Unka and Eddie Zhong, is marketing the property for sale by deadline private treaty closing March 3.

The property is among 38 offerings in Greater Auckland magazine released to the market yesterday and containing Bayleys’ first commercial and industrial portfolio for 2016.

Mimmack says the vendor of 182-190 Wairau Rd has enhanced the property by undertaking a potential subdivision plan. This splits the site in two with the front half containing the buildings facing Wairau Rd on one title and the other title comprising undeveloped land currently used for parking and grassed areas at the rear with a frontage onto View Rd.

“The property’s dual road frontages, with a drive through road running along one side of the site, allows it to be easily subdivided. While the vendor’s preference is to sell the property as one lot, offers will be considered from different parties on either of the two parcels.”

Mimmack says the property could appeal to another corporate wanting to acquire a high profile site for its own occupation in a popular location. ‘‘There are few properties of this size and quality available for purchase or lease on the North Shore.”

“It should also be of interest to investors seeking an opportunity to add value by leasing up the premises in an area where vacancies are at an all-time low. The variety and configuration of business accommodation means it could be leased to a number of tenants to maximize the rental return. In fact, that is what is effectively happening at the moment with Smartpay subleasing some of the space it does not need to other businesses. A tyre dealer uses the workshop space and next door neighbour, Mitre 10’s head office, occupies some of the car parks and office space.”

Mimmack says the property will also attract attention from developers because it’s an underused site with only around 30 per cent building coverage. The substantial amount of potential development land at the rear of the building currently provides many of the property’s 122 parking spaces.

True Commercial - 182-190 Wairau Rd - View Road frontage and undeveloped land at back of site - aerial.jpg

This view depicts the undeveloped land backing onto View Rd and used for car parking and grassed areas.  

He says the original building developed in the 1970s has been upgraded, refurbished and added to over the years, with the vendor replacing most of the roof three years ago. The property comprises two levels of air conditioned office space at the Wairau Rd frontage total just under 2000 sq m, some of which was converted from workshop space; a 970 sq m low stud workshop area and 473 sq m of 6.5 metre warehouse accommodation at the rear.

“The high stud warehouse could be expanded over the existing outdoor car park area at the View Rd end of the site, which would give the property more rentable industrial area plus possibly providing undercover parking,” says Mimmack. “The workshop space could also be modernised to provide higher stud accommodation better suited to the needs of high end businesses – there are many options.”

He says that in the short term, the property will provide holding income of $511,145 per annum plus GST and operating expenses predominantly from the lease to Smartpay which provides a range of technology services for retailers. The firm has a database in excess of 30,000 merchants in New Zealand using its payment products, Wi-Fi services, internet banking products, in-store marketing media products or telephony services.

A separate lease of 45 parking spaces to Mitre 10 will run until that company’s relocation late this year to its new national support centre, currently under construction in Albany.

The general building construction comprises reinforced concrete floors and foundations, mainly concrete block walls, steel portal framing with internal support columns, aluminium joinery and a steel roof.

Zhong says the property provides a good standard of business accommodation, with a modern office layout encompassing a central open plan work area and surrounding perimeter offices and meeting rooms on the ground floor. “There is also a substantial cafeteria which opens onto an outdoor wooden deck.”

Unka says the property is strategically located in a prime elevated position at the southern end of Wairau Rd close to the intersection with Target Rd which leads to the Link Drive bulk retail precinct, and the motorway interchange at Tristram Avenue. “This is a very tightly held location, both by investors and tenants - and Wairau Road, particularly so. The good transport links to central Auckland, Takapuna and the Albany commercial centre make the property highly accessible for staff and customers.”

Wairau Road is a major arterial route between Glenfield and Takapuna, and the Wairau Valley is one of the North Shore’s longest established commercial and industrial areas, with other adjacent properties including a mix of warehouse and office, showroom, retail, restaurant and church tenancies as well as the Southern Cross Hospital.

“There is always strong interest in any properties that come on the market in this location and Bayleys North Shore Commercial has sold a number of nearby properties in the last two years, Mimmack says.

In December 2014, a site of 883 sq m with a rental return of $63,000 net per annum located at 96 Wairau Rd sold for $1,155,000. Units in the neighbouring Wairau Junction retail complex have been sold down to investors on individual titles at yields ranging from 4.8 per cent to seven per cent, while investors and owner occupiers have purchased a number of small industrial units which have also been developed on the site.

“A large confidential land sale on Wairau Rd was also recently concluded at over $1000 a sq m, but this was for a mostly bare land site whereas 182-190 Wairau Rd offers a purchaser buildings, holding income and development land,” says Mimmack.