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Change of ownership papers sought as car dealership premises comes up for sale

The land and building housing one of New Zealand’s oldest car dealerships in the middle of a bustling provincial town have been placed on the market for sale.

The block in the township of Thames at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula in the Noth Island is home to Linn Motors which manages the Isuzu and Hyundai marques in the area – selling both family cars, farm utes, and light commercial vehicles.

Linn Motors’ presence in the Hauraki Plains/Coromandel area began in 1938 when the company opened a small service station in Paeroa. The automotive company expanded into selling vehicles after World War II – subsequently opening its Thames location, and becoming the largest car sales business in Thames Valley… selling 1,000 vehicles in its market-dominating 1973 year.

Two generations of the Linn family made the business the success it is today, and as part of their succession plan, owners Clive and Marie Linn sold part of the company to new directors Brian and Carmel Trebes. However, while the Linns retained the land and buildings for many years, they are now looking to enjoy their retirement and have placed the property on the market for sale.

The freehold land and building at 417-429 Pollen Street are now being marketed for sale at auction on March 14 through Bayleys Ngatea. Salesperson Josh Smith said that with more than six decades of trading in Thames, the Linn Motors brand was a cornerstone in the town’s automotive community – with a history of selling vehicles to generations of customers.

Sitting on three separate titles, the L-shaped Pollen Street site comprises a combined landholding of 1,534-square metres, occupied by some 290-square metres of showroom, office, and automotive workshop space.

“The Linn Motors property has a prominent street frontage onto Pollen Street, featuring two separate entry exit points to drive new and used vehicles on to, and off the sealed display yard - with the main single-storey showroom encompassing an open-plan display area for new vehicles, separate administrative office space, a parts warehouse, as well as a staff lunchroom and bathroom amenities,” said Smith.

“Meanwhile at the rear of the building is the modern high-stud four-bay workshop portion of the premises, with access coming off a service lane running along the back of the property.

“The seamless nature of automotive services under the Linn Motors marque is replicated by the seamless nature of the Pollen Street buildings in which the company operates.”

Linn Motors is currently on a five-year lease at 417-429 Pollen Street, with three further five-year rights-of-renewal, paying $72,500 per year plus GST and operating expenses.

Thames Coromandel District Council has identified Pollen Street for a major multi-million-dollar renovation and upgrade project to improve stormwater, wastewater, and general water pipelines. More than $5million has been set aside in council accounts for the planning, design, pipe laying, and roading reinstatement project.

However, in light of two-years of severe business interruptions caused first by the Covid-19 recovery, and then compounded by the cyclone damage caused from last year’s flooding events, the council has decided to defer commencing the substantial infrastructure works until businesses are more financially robust to trade through the scheduled works period.

Josh Smith said: “From a long term-perspective, it is highly encouraging to see that the council readily acknowledges Pollen Street to be the centre of economic and social activity in Thames, and has committed funds to ensuring the road’s appeal and relevance to the wider community.

“Any new owner of 417-429 Pollen Street can take heart that they are buying into the town’s prime retail and domestic amenities and services hub which has the backing of the council.”

Click here for more information on the listing.

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