Unions selling their city fringe properties

5:00 AM Saturday September 26, 2015 Colin Taylor

This building at 35-39 George Street, Kingsland, is owned by the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU).

Two union organisations have made the decision to sell their two Auckland freehold properties located in popular city fringe locations.

The buildings are owned by the NZ Amalgamated Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union (EMPU) at 9 Madeira Lane, Grafton; and the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) at 35-39 George Street, Kingsland.  

“Both Grafton and Kingsland have seen significant development and refurbishment activity over the past two decades,” says Ian Hall, commercial sales and investment agent at JLL, who is selling the properties with John Binning, director of capital markets at JLL.

They are running an expressions of interest marketing campaign for the two commercial office buildings which closes at 4 pm on Thursday October 15.

“Both the buildings are close to retail centres, have easy access to the motorway system and offer good car parking ratios,” Hall says. “They will provide excellent investment opportunities for developers, investors or owner occupiers in areas that represent cost effective alternatives to the Auckland CBD.”

The EMPU property in Madeira Lane is a standalone commercial office building on a 1040 sq m site encompassing 1145sqm of office space across three levels with a basement level car park. Constructed circa 1985, the property is occupied by the union and is offered for sale with flexible vacant possession. It is situated at the fringe of the Upper Symonds St commercial area between Grafton and Khyber Pass Rd.

The ground floor of the building has 394 sq m of small and large offices while the first floor has 376 sq m containing a cafeteria and central open plan area. The second floor has a large conference room and open plan area of 375 sq m. At the basement level, there are 28 secure car parks with an additional five open car parks on the road frontage.

Binning says refurbishments in the locality are significantly improving the character of the Grafton area. “With the expansion of the University of Auckland onto the Lion Nathan site, the popularity of this area is set to strengthen even more in the long-term,” he says.

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The building owned by the NZ Amalgamated Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union (EMPU) at 9 Madeira Lane, Grafton.

The SFWU property in Kingsland and is also occupied by union and is similarly available with a flexible vacant possession.

George Street is a local distributer road that extends between New North Rd and Dominion Rd which are both main arterials routes feeding into central Auckland. Built in the mid to late 1980s, the union’s premises comprise a 1254 sq m commercial office building on a 1281sqm site extending over two floors, with basement car parking. The first floor has an area of 723 sq m and the top floor is 531 sq m. Both are fitted out for office use. Car parking on the ground level consists of 25 covered spaces and six open spaces.

“Kingsland is a fashionable, well regarded and established location at the fringe of the city, with the advantage of being close to the city and main arterial routes, including motorway linkages at Newton Road or Khyber Pass,” Binning says.

“The development market is gaining momentum off the back of significant residential market growth, limited new supply and increased demand. We expect these properties will attract a wide range of interested buyers seeking to take advantage of the current low interest rates and positive gearing opportunities.”

Both properties are zoned Mixed Use under the Auckland Unitary Plan which permits a wide range of light industrial or semi-commercial uses as well as residential apartments. Typically located around centres, it acts as a transition area between residential developments and the city centre, metropolitan and town centre zones. It also applies to areas where there is a need for a compatible mix of residential and employment activities. 

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Ian Hall (left) and John Binning (right) of JLL.