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Investor eyes on the Bay as top Whakatane retail hub goes up for sale

The property for sale at 249 The Strand is a landmark presence on Whakatane’s main retail strip. Anchored by a large Smiths City outlet, along with a clutch of other big-brand tenants, it attracts customers from across Whakatane and surrounding areas in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

The Smiths City store, plus Repco and Furniture Zone outlets, a Robert Harris café and a leading local accountancy office, pay combined net rent of $603,443.99 plus outgoings and GST per annum.

The property at 249 The Strand, Whakatane, is now being marketed for sale by tender closing on Friday 3 December, through Bayleys Whakatane.

Salesperson Larissa Reid said the building of approximately 5,354 square metres sat on a site of some 8,166 square metres across two leasehold titles, making it the second-biggest business-zoned site in the town’s CBD.

“The scale of this offering, along with the quality of its tenants and its location in the commercial heart of town will ensure buyer interest from well beyond Whakatane.

“This will be one of the biggest commercial property sales Whakatane has seen in recent years. With multiple established national tenants in place this will be seen as a nationally significant passive investment opportunity for buyers seeking an attractive yield.

“Commercial property investors anywhere will see this as a superb opportunity to invest in a substantial asset in regional New Zealand,” Reid said.

The site for sale enjoys exceptional exposure to vehicle and foot traffic in the town centre, with dual frontages to the main retail strip on The Strand as well as Richardson Street.

Further access is provided by a service lane on the western side of the property and tenant businesses are supported by plentiful on-site car parking.

Angle parking is also available on both sides of Richardson Street and The Strand.

“Originally built in 1971, with further enhancements and refurbishments over the years, and major extensions in 2003/04, the retail premises for sale are immaculately presented and offer a welcoming environment for customers and clients,” Reid said.

Founded in Christchurch over a century ago, Smiths City today has 23 stores across New Zealand stocking leading brands of furniture, home appliances, beds, whiteware, TV and audio.

Smiths City Whakatane occupies some 3,188 square metres at ground level, plus a further 177 square metres of fully-lined mezzanine space. It pays net annual rent of $350,000 plus outgoings and GST on a lease that runs through to 2027, with two further six-year rights of renewal. Rent will rise to $375,000 in 2023 for a year, and then be subject to annual CPI increases capped at two percent.

Details of other tenancies include:

• New Zealand’s largest parts and car accessories retailer, Repco, leases some 546 square metres of ground-floor space plus 41 square metres of mezzanine storage above offices and staff facilities. Its tenancy generates net rental income of $98,800 plus outgoings and GST per annum on a lease extending to 2026, with a further three-year right of renewal.

• Furniture Zone, which has retail furniture outlets all over the North Island, pays $53,189 plus outgoings and GST per annum for its store comprising 224 square metres at ground level, plus a 73-square metre fully-lined mezzanine floor. Its current lease runs through to 2022, with two further three-year rights of renewal.

• Focus Chartered Accountants lease 491 square metres of first-floor office accommodation. The firm pays net annual rent of $87,679 plus outgoings and GST on a current lease expiring in 2026, with two further six-year rights of renewal.

• National café chain Robert Harris’ 166-square metre outlet generates net rental income of $40,376 plus outgoings and GST per annum. Its current lease extends to 2027, with two further six-year rights of renewal.

Reid said The Strand site’s existing uses were permitted activities under its commercial zoning within the town’s business centre, under Whakatane’s district plan.

The property’s nationally significant investment appeal would be further bolstered by growing recognition of the town’s attractiveness as a place to invest and do business, she said.

“With a population of about 20,000, Whakatane is the major town and service and administrative hub for the Eastern Bay of Plenty. It is well connected with excellent air, rail and road links, and lies within 100 kilometres of Rotorua and Tauranga and in easy reach of about half of New Zealand’s population.

“Whakatane lies in the heart of a diverse and buoyant regional economy, with strengths in tourism, dairy, forestry and horticulture,” Reid said.

Click here for more information on the listing.

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