East Coast Bays RSA building on market

5:00 AM Wednesday November 16, 2016 Paul Charman

The Bute Road building has been home to the East Coast Bays RSA since the mid-1990s.

The long-time home of the East Coast Bays RSA — a two-storey property at 13-15 Bute Rd — has been put on the market for sale.

The branch has been active since the 1940s, but faced with dwindling numbers its members have decided to consolidate their operations in partnership with other community organisations.

Now JLL agents David Mayhew and Marg Mills are marketing the property for sale by tender — closing December 14.

Mayhew says the building, which was constructed in the late 1990s, has an area of about 1390sq m, on a 1849sq m site.

It has a high stud and is solidly built with an extensive hospitality fit-out; there is a commercial kitchen and small bar upstairs and another bar below.

“There are lots of possibilities for this site. It’s a very solid structure that could possibly have further levels added, so there are numerous options for add-value investors or owner-occupiers,” says Mayhew.

“It could be converted into an office, medical facility, aged care facility or education centre of some kind.

“The RSA is prepared to stay on as a tenant in all or part of the building in the short to medium-term.” he points out.

Members voted to put the Bute Rd land and building up for sale at the RSA’s annual meeting in October, says East Coast Bays RSA President Kerry Kay.

“In May 2015 there was a fire in the storeroom, which caused superficial damage to the building and has since been repaired.

“Though the damage to the building wasn’t lasting, the fire didn’t help the club’s prospects. It had a devastating effect on the RSA and we are only just now beginning to show some recovery of the patronage by our members. The reality is the traditional RSA model doesn’t work anymore.

“This is a sign of the times for a lot of RSAs and many of them have joined forces with other clubs to be more reflective of the community.

“We have lost most of the World War II vets and we just don’t have the numbers coming through to replace them.

“A survey taken of our membership showed though our members do enjoy coming to the RSA, they just don’t go out as often as they used to. So we need to move towards a model that includes the younger generations.”

He says the club eventually hopes to form a community hub by joining with other clubs, such as bowling and tennis clubs.

“The Upper Harbour, Hibiscus Coast and Bays Local Boards are funding a feasibility study to look into the idea of doing this at Freyberg Park.” However this could take many years to achieve, Kay says, adding that proceeds from the proposed sale would be put aside to facilitate the plans.

Mayhew says the property is zoned Town Centre under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan — one of the three primary zones for the growth of commercial activities.

“It provides for medium intensity retail and commercial activity with a maximum height of 16.5 metres, which allows for four to six storeys. Conversion of a building into dwellings or accommodation is a restricted discretionary activity in this zone.

The site is surrounded by a mix of residential, light industrial and retail businesses with several parks and recreation areas nearby. There are two new apartment developments on Bute Rd — The Norfolk and The Pines,” says Mayhew.

The property is about 20km from the Auckland CBD (a 20-minute drive) with access to the Northern Motorway via Greville and Oteha Valley Roads, about 5km away he says.

Browns Bay is a bustling beachfront community of more than 4000 people, with a sizeable commercial centre. There is retail on both sides of Clyde Rd with a variety of cafes and restaurants on the beachfront. Browns Bay has two supermarkets, a primary school and three retirement villages within a kilometre of the beachfront.