The property assets and chattels owned by Blenheim Working Men’s Club, trading as Clubs of Marlborough, (in liquidation) and the Marlborough RSA, are now officially on the market with a path forward for a “clean” sale confirmed by the appointed liquidators.
Malcolm Hollis and Richard Nacey of PwC and the Marlborough RSA have given Fraser Press, Bayleys Wellington and Glenn Dick, Bayleys Marlborough clear instructions to seek tenders from prospective buyers for the substantial two-storey recreational complex at 42 Alfred Street, Blenheim in the town’s CBD.
Tenders close 1pm 15th November, on an “as is where is basis” including all fixtures, fittings and chattels included in the tender documentation, available on application.
Press says while the sale of the property has been tabled in the media since Clubs of Marlborough voluntarily closed its doors late-2022 then was officially placed in liquidation on 14th March this year, it has taken time for liquidators to work through details and logistics, and to provide useful information for buyers.
“A seismic rating for the property needed to be established and TM Consultants Ltd have produced an Initial Seismic Assessment (ISA) report showing the building to be at 60 percent new building standard (NBS) based on an IL3 importance level,” explains Press.
An IL3 importance-level building is one where more than 300 people can congregate in one area however, under traditional commercial use, the property would be rated as an IL2 Importance-level building and for this purpose, the ISA shows the building to be at 75 percent NBS.
The flagship community facility was purpose-built in 2007, has a total net lettable area of approximately 6,539sqm, (subject to confirmation) and is owned by the Blenheim Working Men’s Club with a 4/7ths share, and the Marlborough RSA with a 3/7ths share.
On the ground floor there’s a double-height atrium, main entry foyer, office and committee room, rifle range mound and butts, gymnasium with men’s and women’s bathroom facilities, main hall, storage areas and ancillary amenities.
A mezzanine floor provides additional storage space and plant room requirements, while on the first floor there are bars, restaurant, children’s room, pool/billiards rooms, bridge clubroom, kitchen, storerooms, ablutions and amenities together with an expansive front terrace overlooking the Taylor River.
Clubs of Marlborough closed its doors last November due to multimillion-dollar debt and declining revenue and at that time, the RSA also vacated the building.
Press says the Stratum in Freehold unit-titled property is primarily held in two main units – being Units B and C – which are to be sold as one parcel with vacant possession.
“The adjacent Unit A is owned by Marlborough District Council and operated as the Marlborough Events Centre, while the charitable trust Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust operates the neighbouring ASB Theatre on the other side of the Clubs building.
“These do not form part of the sale.”
Potential owner-occupiers or astute investors looking to purchase a property in Blenheim at a fraction of the replacement value need to seriously consider this opportunity, Dick says.
“Recreating an asset of this scale and quality would come at significant cost and protracted timeframe in today’s market.
“The year after it was built, the property was a tourism and leisure category finalist in the national 2008 RMB Commercial Project Awards and is one of Blenheim’s most prominent community buildings.
“This opportunity will suit a vast range of users due to its prime location, favourable Central Business zoning and the extensive infrastructure that is within the property.”
A potential change of use to a campus-style office precinct, place of assembly for church or community groups, education facility, commercial accommodation, retail or entertainment precinct are all possible avenues to explore.
“The property was designed to optimise views from the upper level over the river and its associated green reserve areas, and it has excellent street frontage and high profile,” says Dick.
“There is a large public carpark at the front of the property, a parking building in near vicinity and additional on street parking so is well-positioned for any number of possible business or community entities to acquire.”
Blenheim Working Men’s Club was one of New Zealand’s oldest Friendly Societies and had been operating for more than 130 years. At the time of closing, it had about 4000 members and employed 50 staff.