CBD block could become apartments

5:00 AM Saturday February 4, 2017 True Commercial

An exterior view of 117 Vincent St, the area’s “tree-lined character” lends itself to the creation of apartments. Photo / Supplied

A vacant office block for sale in Auckland’s CBD, has potential for mixed-use commercial or residential redevelopment.

Bayleys is marketing the 364sq m of freehold land, with a 736.7sq m building, which will be for sale at auction on March 8.

Under the Auckland Unitary Plan, the property at 117 Vincent St is zoned business city centre, says Bayleys Auckland salesperson Nigel McNeill.

“Permitted activities under this classification would allow for the provision of accommodation and boarding house operations, community care, food and beverage businesses, education providers, office or retail space, healthcare firms, or retirement village services.”

He says the property features in Bayleys’ latest Total Property magazine, out now.

It was built in 1965 and will be sold with vacant possession.

A legal vehicle and pedestrian accessway linking Hobson St and Vincent St runs along one side of the property; each level of the three-storey building is 245sq m.

The ground level is configured to accommodate 12 covered car parks directly accessed from Vincent St, while an additional six uncovered car parks are available on a sealed yard to the rear of the premises.

In the existing two-tenant layout, the building’s upper two levels are accessed by a shared stairwell, with the main entry on Vincent St. Both floors were fitted out about seven years ago and are configured in a mix of open plan, small offices, and meeting rooms, with toilet amenities on each level.

“There is the potential for a new owner to retain the building in its current floor plan serving two tenancies, or redesign one of the floors to accommodate residential accommodation in the premises,” Mr McNeill says.

“The offices in their current state are B-grade standard — meaning they could be let “as is” with any per-square-metre rate reflecting that grading, or the space could be subjected to a modernisation and refitting to to improve the offices up to A-grade standard suitable for a medium-sized business tenancy.”

McNeill says the vendor has drawn up plans for construction of a six-storey mixed-use commercial and residential development on the site. Under these plans, upper levels of the block could be configured to accommodate a quartet of one, two, and three-bedroom units on each floor.

Council planning regulations dictate one-bedroom units in Auckland must be a minimum of 45sq m, two-bedroom units must be of a minimum 70sq m , and the three bedroom units must be of minimum of 90 square metres in size.

“Auckland’s central business district is undergoing intensive redevelopment — particularly over the past four years with the council’s stated commitment to city-wide intensification in the residential sector,” says McNeill.

“This has seen a number of older buildings which had previously solely housed commercial or retail tenancies now being converted to apartment blocks or mixed-used complexes. Small stand-alone buildings like this are increasingly rare.”

One of the first examples of this latest wave of commercial-to-residential conversions was undertaken nearby at 132 Vincent St opposite the central police station in the former headquarters of infrastructure services company Beca Carter.

After selling in late 2011, the tower was converted into 62 contemporary luxury apartments.

“The tree-lined character of Vincent St lends itself to the creation of apartments,” McNeill says.

117 Vincent St has a 2015 rateable valuation of $1.4 million and an Initial Evaluation Procedure (IEP) rating of 40 per cent. The building has a street frontage of 90.9 metres and was built in standard concrete pillar and steel framing — with air conditioning ducted to both levels.

“Any modernisation could include a strengthening of the building to a much higher degree of new building standard (NBS),” McNeill says.

Vincent St is a few hundred metres away from the Spaghetti Junction motorway interchange, linking the CBD with the southern and western suburbs.

It is less than a kilometre away from the northbound on-ramp of the motorway to the North Shore.