Fully leased Raglan waterfront property

5:00 AM Wednesday November 16, 2016 Colin Taylor

An aerial view of the Raglan corner property at 2 Wallis St.

A high-profile waterfront property at the end of Raglan’s main street, that has served as a pivotal part of the town’s commercial and social life for 150 years, will go under the hammer next month.

“The property is fully leased to the Orca Restaurant and Bar and four smaller tenants,” says Alex ten Hove of Bayleys Waikato who, with colleague Mike Swanson, is marketing 2 Wallis St for auction on December 8 at Bayleys’ Hamilton office, unless it sells before by negotiation.

Featured in Bayleys’ latest national Total Property portfolio, 338sq m building and its 736sq m of freehold land, are owned by a group of Waikato and Bay of Plenty investors..

Swanson says the triangular site is at the juncture of Wallis, Cliff and Bow St – Raglan’s main street – and has views across the harbour and out to the Raglan bar. It is currently generating total net annual rental income of $134,044.

The restaurant occupies the bulk of the building, with its lease running until the end of 2019 with one further four-year right of renewal.

It also encompasses four small character shops: a florist, a barber, a bookshop and tattooist – with the latter premise having a small one bedroom upstairs apartment. The shops have a frontage to Wallis St and direct access to the main street.

“The property’s busy corner location near the water’s edge is a major attraction for tenants and is reflected in the fact that it is fully tenanted with a solid leasing history,” says ten Hove. “The main tenant has traded successfully for a number of years, reporting excellent returns particularly during the packed summer season.”

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Sea view from the deck of the Orca Restaurant and Bar.

He says the property is zoned Business Commercial (Waikato) which could allow for a three-level mixed-used development with lower level retailing and residential accommodation above. This could be added to the existing structure or incorporated into a new build.

“To take advantage of both the main street waterfront location and superb harbour views, the vendors had planned to develop the property into a mix of six retail tenancies and six residential apartments with 11 carparks and had preliminary concept plans drawn up with a view to obtaining the necessary consents. However, their priorities have changed and they are now offering the next owner the opportunity to activate these plans or implement their own ideas for the property,’’ says ten Hove.

“It’s quite a rare proposition to have such a flexible zoning as this in a waterfront location in a provincial town. Commercial property in Raglan is also very tightly held, so it’s an unusual combination that is attracting interest from within the Waikato and from investors in Auckland and the Bay of Plenty who are looking for properties with add value potential.”

Swanson says the property has been a natural focal point of activity in town since a general store was first established on the land back in the 1860s,

The general store, along with several other surrounding wooden buildings, was burnt down at the turn of the 20th century. It was replaced by a Royal Hotel but that too burnt down in 1930.

“The site is probably best known as home to the Centennial Milk Bar and adjoining cabaret which opened in 1955.  The milk bar, famous for its fish and chips, was a meeting place for teenagers during the day while the cabaret building, with its dance floor and stage, became the centre of Raglan’s night life and was a popular venue for touring bands..”

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A street level view of the Raglan retail property at 2 Wallis St. 

In the 1970s and 80s it became Seagulls Restaurant and in 2008, the current owners completely renovated the building for the Orca Restaurant, joining the two buildings together as well as adding a deck for outdoor dining overlooking the harbour.

Swanson says Raglan’s growing popularity as a visitor destination over the last 10 years has seen the evolution of an eclectic mix of surf, fashion, arts and crafts, jewellery and

gift shops; plus a wide range of food and beverage stores that provide a village alternative to the packaged city retail experience.  

“With its seaside surfing and harbour setting, Raglan provides something that can’t be matched by shopping malls and drawing numerous visitors and customers - particularly at the weekends and over the summer holiday period when the population swells by 300 to 400 per cent.

“It is only 46 kilometres from Hamilton, so an increasing number of permanent residents now choose to live in Raglan and commute to work in Hamilton, drawn by the town’s attractive property prices and the lifestyle.”