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Historic Devonport post office site ready to deliver for new owners

A red letter day is looming for commercial property investors as Devonport’s landmark art deco former post office goes up for sale.

With its ornate ceilings, exposed kauri floors, grand glazed atrium and near-original colour scheme, the Category 2 Historic Place-listed property is one of the most recognisable buildings on the Auckland seaside suburb’s main street.

It served as the local post office for half a century after it was purpose built in the 1930s as part of the first Labour government’s expansion of postal services.

Sold off in the 1990s, it was then extended to house a museum while the original post office was converted into a restaurant and later a café.

The building then lay unused for years before being acquired in a dilapidated state in 2007 by the Omega Trust, which painstakingly returned it to its former glory with an award-winning refurbishment.

The property is now home to 10 diverse tenants, generating a combined net rental return of $279,438 plus outgoings and GST per annum.

Tenants of the more than 1,000-square-metre (gross) unit-titled property range from a restaurant and cafe to an antique furniture store, an electronics manufacturer, a computer repair service, and occupants of an apartment. A new owner will have the ability to add further value by filling a vacant retail tenancy.

The property at Unit 2, 10 Victoria Road, Devonport, is now being offered for sale through Michael Nees and Peta Laery of Bayleys North Shore Commercial.

It will be sold by deadline private treaty closing on Thursday 14 March, unless sold prior.

Nees said with its history, character and commanding main-street presence the site epitomised a “trophy” investment – but offered buyers no shortage of substance as well as style.

“With multiple tenancies across hospitality, retail, office and residential accommodation, and several longstanding tenants, this landmark building represents a commercial property investment with a rare breadth of diversification,” Nees said.

The property for sale encompasses the original post office building constructed in 1938 along with a rear addition which dates to the 1990s.

“The site incorporates approximately 466 square metres of retail at street level, plus 230 square metres of first-floor office accommodation and a 77-square-metre apartment.

“Two further apartments on the second floor are on separate titles and not included in the sale,” said Nees.

The original post office building has an Initial Evaluation Procedure seismic rating of 67 percent of new building standard, while the rear addition is rated at 100 percent.

Laery said the site had changed hands just three times in over 80 years. The Omega Trust’s meticulous restoration in the late-2000s, working with heritage architects Salmon Reed, had breathed new life into the property.

“The beautiful results seen today have been recognised with awards from the Registered Master Builders Association and the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

“The work accentuated the beautiful original character. But it also helped equip the building for the future with upgrades to the likes of electrical and data cabling, plumbing, air conditioning and fire and security systems,” Laery said.

The Victoria Road site forms part of the Business – Town Centre zone under Auckland’s unitary plan. This provides for an array of activities including commercial, residential, leisure, tourist, community and civic services.

Laery said the former post office property benefited from its position amid other heritage buildings in a vibrant and popular commercial hub.

“Dating from the mid-1800s, Devonport is one of Auckland’s most historically authentic villages. With a rich mix of cafes, restaurants, boutique stores and galleries, it services an affluent local population as well as visitors and tourists who descend on this fashionable seaside suburb throughout the year.”

Click here for more information on the listing.

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