Ponsonby Rd character building

5:00 AM Saturday March 25, 2017 True Commercial

The 275sq m two-level building at 91 College Hill Rd has five on-site carparks. Photo / Supplied

A modernised 125-year old character building on an elevated high profile site, at the Ponsonby end of Auckland’s College Hill, offers options for owner occupiers or add-value investors.

The 275sq m two-level building at 91 College Hill comes with the added bonus of five secure on-site carparks at the rear of the 337sq m freehold site, says marketing agent Nigel McNeill who, with Bayleys Auckland colleague, Meredith Graham, is marketing the property for sale on April 12, as part of Bayleys’ nextTotal Property portfolio auction.

Now used as office space, the property is for sale with vacant possession.

“This offering provides an outstanding opportunity to purchase a high-profile, refurbished character building in a highly sought-after fringe CBD location close to busy Ponsonby Road,” says McNeill.

“Attractive small standalone buildings with off-street parking are hard to find in Ponsonby and the property’s flexible Mixed Use zoning means it could be used for a wide variety of activities.

“A new owner occupier could create a live and work situation with a commercial use on the ground floor and residential above. The upper level benefits from the property’s elevated position at the top of the hill and has views of Auckland Harbour out to Rangitoto Island and of the CBD and Sky Tower.

“Alternatively, the property could be purchased by an investor and leased out for a host of uses ranging from continuation as office premises through to conversion to a boutique hotel or backpackers’ accommodation.”

Originally constructed around 1890, the building was extensively remodelled and rebuilt in 1999 to accommodate an office tenant. The ground floor has a reception area, boardroom and various offices, a bathroom with shower, small kitchen and a staff room at the rear opening onto a courtyard.

The first floor is accessed by an internal staircase and comprises further office areas and a storeroom. The building is equipped with fire sprinklers throughout.

“To the owner’s advantage for a character building of this age, it does not fall into the category of buildings that require a seismic assessment under the Building (Earthquake Prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016, being of wooden construction and less than 12 metres or three storeys high,” says McNeill. “This means it is considered to be a low earthquake risk.”

Graham says many former residential properties on College Hill have been converted to commercial use because of their high profile position on a primary road linking the CBD with the Herne Bay end of Ponsonby and further west which means they benefit from plenty of exposure to high volumes of passing vehicles. “Like this property, a lot of them have character features like high stud ceilings and timber flooring which appeal to smaller office tenants looking for buildings with personality.

“College Hill is also on the central city link bus route and has good access and egress to and from motorways so it’s an easy central place for staff and customers to get to.”

The property was previously zoned Residential 7A under the old Auckland City district plan but is now Business-Mixed Use under the new Auckland Unitary Plan. Graham says the extensive range of permitted uses under its new zoning includes residential, commercial services and office, entertainment, food and beverage, retail, community services and education facilities.

“It comes within the height variation controls for St Marys Bay which is 13 metres. While lower than many other areas with a Mixed Use zoning under the new plan, it is in keeping with a precinct well known for its predominantly low rise, long established character buildings.”