Trust sells two taverns

An astute change of business strategy by The Trusts is seeing land previously held for taverns in the heart of West Auckland brought to the market for the first time.

Colliers International brokers Josh Coburn, Michael Bray and James Appleby are marketing the two freehold properties at 211 Richardson Road in Mount Roskill and 215 and 217 Triangle Road in Massey, both for sale by tender private treaty due on 9 November 2016, unless sold prior by negotiation.

“This is a strategic move by The Trusts which demonstrates the business becoming increasingly investment savvy by realising the maximum potential of these assets as development sites,” Coburn says.

Traditionally The Trusts have primarily focused on retail and hospitality and operates 12 hospitality outlets. The Trust’s chief executive Simon Wickham says over the years it has acquired several properties it has traded on, and a few that the Trust have leased.

“Under a new strategy, we are focusing on developing the third arm of the business in property investment. This investment strategy helps meet our wider mission of giving back profits to the community through property and equity, alongside profits from our liquor and future businesses. All our profits are reinvested back into the community owned business or the community itself,” says Wickham.

The decision to sell is a manifestation of market dynamics, and Wickham says hospitality in New Zealand and the wider Western world is experiencing a revolution. “The two property deals also reflect a changing hospitality strategy which is firmly focused on modern hospitality in the right location and the right format,” he adds.

Coburn says the two taverns are at odds with the Trust’s modern hospitality objectives and are somewhat ‘outliers’ in that regard. “Modern hospitality demands success in suburban or major town centres, or predominantly new developments around West Auckland. The geographical location of these two properties are now much better suited for uses that maximise the massive piece of land they sit on, while also accounting for the new zoning under the Unitary Plan,” Coburn says.

With the rise of the experience-based retail and hospitality, Wickham points out that a modern bar for Friday night’s drinks is now almost indistinguishable from a modern casual restaurant.

“In the old days, you were either in a restaurant to eat or a tavern to drink. But today’s customers demand more than that. They want modern fitouts and facilities that might serve as a café during the day, a restaurant in the evening and then a bar in the late evening,” Wickham says.

“We can see more and more of these around Auckland such as the Flagship in West Harbour, Black Salt Bar & Eatery in New Lynn, or the Hangar in Lincoln North,” he adds.

With West Auckland’s rapid population growth projections, Coburn says the two properties provide serious redevelopment opportunity. “211 Richardson is very well positioned with a significant land area of 8,187sqm and a desirable zoning with a number of options for developers, investors and owner occupiers, including a mixed use development,” he says.

The property is located about 100m away from Stoddard Road, which is a local town centre and provides excellent access to main arterials and motorways with the south-western highway onramp 750m away. It occupies an almost level site, with a 62m street frontage to Richardson Road with natural surroundings outlook of Henderson Park to its rear. With the Business Town Centre zoning under the Unitary Plan, the site is ready for redevelopment.

Coburn says with Auckland’s critical housing shortage, these two sites offer unbeatable development potential in one of Auckland’s fastest growing areas. “We are currently short of 40,000 dwellings and need another 13,000 houses every year for the next seven years just to meet demand,” he says.

“This is a huge prime opportunity for a developer to come and make use of the land for residential and commercial projects that the area demands in the face of substantial growth, with large parcels of serviced land virtually non-existent in West Auckland,” Coburn points out.

The massive 17,274sqm at 215 and 217 Triangle Road in Massey is also heralded as a significant development opportunity waiting to be plucked. The property sits on an elevated position and is located close to the Northwestern motorway.

217 Triangle Road is located in the front section of the combined landholding with about 2,036sqm of elevated site with two attached residential units and a Light Industry zoning. 215 Triangle Road is the location of Western Lights Tavern with a sprawling 15,238sqm site, including ample carpark.

“This property is zoned Mixed Use and allows for a range of commercial and residential developments which is a rare opportunity when you consider Massey’s proximity to Westgate, Hobsonville and Whenuapai,” Coburn says.

West Auckland’s growing popularity has seen increasing development activity which houses the NorthWest Shopping Centre in Westgate. The property is three kilometres from central Westgate, and 16kms from Auckland CBD.

The suburb is home to a mix of residential and commercial properties and businesses are drawn to the area for its ease of access from the north and south via the Northwestern motorway and the North Shore via Upper Harbour Highway.

“There are very few pieces of land these sizes in West Auckland that either do not already house a significant building onsite, or are adequately serviced for development. This makes this offering very special,” says Coburn.

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