For the first time in 15 years, the high-profile Hornby Clocktower site in Christchurch is being offered for sale.
On the corner of Main South Road and Brynley Street, the property is the site of the former iconic Hornby Clocktower building that marked the southern entrance to Christchurch for more than 50 years. It was built by Don Donnithorne in the 1960s and was home to the Central Canterbury Electric Power Board.
Family-owned investment company Epoch bought the property in 2005. The company completed a full refurbishment in 2010 – just three months before the February 2011 earthquake. The building was demolished in 2014.
Epoch has subsequently redeveloped the site into a mixed-use complex, naming it the Clocktower Centre in a nod to the past. It comprises four main buildings with a total of 11 tenancies including fast food chain Carl’s Jr (operated by publicly listed entity Restaurant Brands), Snap Fitness, Australian retailer Godfreys, Oil Changers and a host of other businesses.
Doig says the tenants range from retail and office to a vehicle workshop, providing a spread of risk as well as various lease terms, renewal options and a mixture of rent reviews.
Property in the Hornby retail precinct is extremely tightly held among only a few major owners.
“The last sale in this catchment was the land across the road for the new Mitre 10 Mega,” says Doig.
“The area has undergone such a transformation since the earthquakes prompted a huge shift to the southwest post-quake. Since that time, the residential developments in this area have rapidly expanded in the likes of Wigram but also neighbouring Aidanfield, and Longhurst, and further out to Rolleston.
“To service that growing population, Hornby’s retail has substantially expanded and remains in hot demand.”
The Clocktower Centre forms part of a broader, complementary shopping destination creating a critical mass of retail for the immediate catchment.
Retail offerings include The Hub Hornby, Dress-Smart Hornby, Countdown and the Hornby Mega Centre which is anchored by Mitre 10 Mega and Harvey Norman with a range of other top branded medium format retailers.
Dwan says good quality stock of this calibre is in short supply.
“There is a real lack of quality multi-use assets in the market at present and this one has the benefit of rental upside and possible further development, all the while being anchored by some key national tenants. This ticks all the boxes of great investment fundamentals.”
Located some 11km west of the Christchurch CBD and 7km south of Christchurch International Airport, Clocktower Hornby sits on a 10,299sq m site with net lettable area of 3,115sq m. It will have a passing rent of $704,091 as at December 2020.