Te Rapa racing premises looks a good bet

5:00 AM Wednesday October 19, 2016 True Commercial

Brokers hope investors will jockey to buy the NZ Racing Board premises in Hamilton

The land and buildings housing the New Zealand Racing Board’s Waikato operations are on the market for sale.

The two-storey freehold premises at Te Rapa Rd, on the northern outskirts of Hamilton, is a 797sq m building on 1542sq m of land.

It uncorporates a workshop with roller-door access on the ground floor, plus storage and office space on the first level.

The New Zealand Racing Board, which runs the TAB betting agency and TAB Trackside TV and radio channels, is the sole tenant of the building. It is the base for NZRB’s Waikato and Bay of Plenty operations, including race-day and on-site filming for Trackside, on-course betting and supporting the local TAB retail network.

The upper-level floor space also formerly housed the TAB national call centre — allowing customers to make telephone bets on horse and dog races as well as selected sporting events.

The NZRB is in the process of relocating its Waikato operations to new premises nearby in Te Rapa early next year.

The call centre operation has already moved out.

The NZRB has owned the Te Rapa Rd location since the 1980s, with a film studio added in 1989. It meets 65 per cent of the New Build Standard.

The address is zoned for industrial use under Hamilton City Council’s city plan — encouraging economic use for the location. The land and buildings at 391 Te Rapa Rd comprise two lots on one title. They are being marketed by Bayleys Hamilton, through a tender process to close at Bayleys’ Hamilton office, on November 18.

Bayleys Waikato Commercial Manager Richard Graham says the building is made of solid low-maintenance materials and comes with 23 carparks on a fully sealed yard. There is potential to convert the ground floor area into a showroom or retail space or to redevelop the site.

The rateable value of the two lots is $1.62m.

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The NZRB has owned the Te Rapa Rd location since the 1980s, with a film studio added in 1989.

“From an investment perspective, potential purchasers are likely to consider the cost of refurbishing and modernising the building when calculating the property’s value,” he says.

“The interior fitout and decor is fairly basic and would require some capital expenditure to freshen the building in order to lease the space at competitive market rates.

“With 23 car parks available, the property could easily accommodate a medium-sized commercial tenancy. Its location is enhanced by being on the city’s main northbound arterial route.”

Te Rapa’s tenancy mix is a number of “big box” DIY and building trade operators such as Bunnings and Mega Mitre 10, along with vehicle dealerships, furniture showrooms, and commercial services companies.

Graham says most of Te Rapa Rd is now highly developed and tenanted — with Hamilton City Council expressing a preference for industrially-tenanted property development on any remaining available land.

The NZRB land and buildings would be covered by the council’s “existing use” policy for commercial occupation, or under the council’s own policies, could well receive favourable consenting for development into an industrial premises.

“The Te Rapa corridor is contained within a council zoning which recognises existing office and retail activities which have been established under the previous planning regime. The council zoning provides for the continuation of existing office and retail activities which reflect the standards in the previous district plan whilst encouraging a return to industrial uses,” Graham says.

“The expansion of existing activities or establishment of any new or additional retail or office activities tenancies is not envisaged in this area.

“So the future of the site at 391 Te Rapa Rd is perfectly positioned at a fork in the road — with developers able to take either a commercial or industrial route.

“Hamilton Council’s industrial zone provisions seek to ensure the city’s industrial land is not occupied by land activities that are non-industrial — unless those activities are either ancillary to industrial activity, support industrial activities, or are more appropriately located within an industrial environment than a business centre.”