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Property investors cheque out former bank building on the market for sale

The freehold, vacant two-storey 414 square metre building on a 266 square metre site at 1 Pepler Street, was an ASB bank branch, and is one of the few individually-owned properties at Pakuranga Plaza, which sits at the junction of Pakuranga and Reeves Roads and Ti Rakau Drive.

Although the building is being sold vacant, there is annual holding income of $8,000 from an ASB ATM machine at the front of the property. ASB will sign a new initial lease with a two-year term from the date of settlement.

The building has a carpeted street level floor of 266 square metres and a 148 square metre level above. Over the years the property has undergone significant renovation, with the most recent in the early 2000s.

Inside, the premises were used by the bank for ground floor retail and offices - with two access points to a stairwell leading to the upper level which has an existing office fit-out along with a kitchenette and toilets.

Off-street parking is provided by the plaza's 1400 open and undercover car parks. In front of the property is one of the main parking lots, with dual access along Pakuranga Road, Ti Rakau Drive and Aylesbury Street.

A rear door within the premises gives access along a service lane and through a gate to the eastern side of the building, which has a seismic rating of 70% NBS.

The property is being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Auckland, with tenders at 4.30pm on June 28. It features in Bayley’s latest Total Property portfolio magazine.

Bayleys Auckland salespeople Matt Lee, James Chan and Geoff Wyatt said that as a retail property, the premises was open to many potential uses – a cafe, restaurant or takeaway store, along with any type of shopping that was acceptable within the plaza's mix.

“The plaza, covering 28,000 square metres of retail in a mix of about 80 internal and strip retail tenancies, has about five million people passing through its doors annually. It has a strong residential catchment and the population of the wider Howick Local Board area is expected to reach 160,000 by 2030,” Mr Lee said

“Presenting a blank canvas, and with a favourable Auckland Council zoning of Business - Town Centre, which has a general height control of 48.5 metres, the property is suitable either for an owner-occupier to move in immediately and refurbish to their business style and needs, an investor with a tenant, or a developer because of its commercial and residential development potential,” he said.

This would fit in with the plans of Pakuranga Plaza's main owner to substantially redevelop the mall and its four hectare site into a town centre in the near future. Previously announced plans included commercial, retail and residential buildings.

Anchor tenants are onboard. The Warehouse's lease runs until 2035, Farmers has renewed its lease, and supermarket operator Countdown is staying at its site.

The company's planning is being finalised and consents sought now the $1.4 billion Auckland-Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative's (AMETI) proposed plans for the eastern busway's final alignments with roading, the Pakuranga bus interchange location at the town centre and access points have been settled.

The busway will ease congestion and provide more transport options. Construction has started on the busway lanes along Lagoon Drive and Pakuranga Road.

Mr Wyatt said the property's location at Pepler Street directly faced Pakuranga Road, which benefited from its immediate surroundings along the north-west side of the mall close to Countdown and Flight Centre.

“The mall is a popular shopping area which has been at the heart of the eastern suburbs for more than 50 years and has more than 120,000 cars passing daily,” he said.

GYP Properties, a subsidiary of Singaporean listed company Global Yellow Pages, bought Pakuranga Plaza from Ladstone Holdings in 2014, but its history goes back further than that.

Built in 1965 on a site originally called cabbage tree swamp, the mall, once owned by Westfield and called Westfield Pakuranga, was New Zealand's second mall of the modern age, incorporating Farmers and George Court department stores.

The mall has been transformed several times since it first went up and now retains little of the 1960's style it once had.

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