Character building in capital’s Te Aro

5:00 AM Saturday July 8, 2017 True Commercial

This 1925 character office building is for sale at 15-19 Tory St, Wellington. Photo / Supplied

A character building in Wellington CBD’s bustling Tory Street is on the market for the first time in 24 years.

Originally known as British Cars House, 15-19 Tory Street is a five-level office building including a large penthouse apartment. It was built in 1925.

The building is being marketed by Michelle Chadwick and Sam McIlroy of Colliers International and is for sale by deadline private treaty, closing 2pm Thursday July 27.

Properties are tightly held in Te Aro and McIlroy expects keen interest in the mixed-use building.

It includes a large rooftop area outside the 250sq m penthouse, with potential for a funky rooftop garden and entertainment area.

“This northern area of Tory St is developing really fast and evolving into a vibrant, boutique part of central Wellington. It has an interesting mix of office, residential and retail,” McIlroy says.

“The redevelopment of the former Reading complex nearby, the new convention centre and potential movie museum around the corner will add further to its rapidly improving value.

“Te Aro’s population has doubled in size about every five years, primarily driven by the increase in new residential buildings or conversions.”

Chadwick says 15 per cent of Wellington’s businesses are in Te Aro, with many now seeing the area as a prime location because of its proximity to homes, entertainment, hospitality and boutique retail.

“The area has a diverse mix of tenants from government and local agencies, to technology companies, start-ups and industrial.

“The tech hub is at the northern end, near this property, and includes the likes of TradeMe and Xero.

True Commercial - 15-19 Tory Street Wellington - interior.jpg

Australian lighting design company Inlite has a showroom in the building. Photo / Supplied

“Adding to the nature of the area are the growing number of resident creative agencies and the thriving entertainment district.”

Chadwick says the building is at 36 per cent of New Building Standard so there is plenty of scope to add value and potential to convert to a stylish residential apartment building.

“We expect interest to come from all types of investors such as an owner-occupier, architect, or developer; having wide appeal as a value-add proposition.”

A stone’s throw from Courtenay Place, the niche building has a character brick facade to Tory St, a glazed front shop and an ornately tiled lobby area which is serviced by a vintage cage lift and comprises retail, office and residential tenancies.

Known as Mountain Safety House, it sits on 564sq m and has a net lettable area of 2103.49sq m. The floors have high studs and natural light from light wells. There are two office vacancies — including parts of the first and third floors.

All leases include demolition clauses paving the way to reposition the building.

The current commercial income is $176,000 net per annum and the annual residential income from the two apartments is $63,700 including GST.