Chow Group selling Wellington property

6:07 PM Tuesday July 17, 2018 Colin Taylor

The four-storey building at 25 Vivian St, Wellington, was home to the Whitireia Performance Centre for many years. Photo / Supplied

A largely vacant, four-storey property owned by the Chow Group in Vivian St, Wellington, and the former home of the Whitireia Performance Centre, has been placed on the market.

“By selling this property, we understand the Chow Group will release some capital for planned hotel developments around the country,” says Grant Young of Bayleys Wellington who, with colleague Luke Frecklington, is marketing 25 Vivian St for sale by tenders closing at 4pm on Wednesday, August 15. 

The 2310sq m property has ground floor showroom and warehouse space along with three upper levels of office and studio space. There are 20 car parks on the first floor.

Designed by Craig Craig Moller architects and built in 1998, the building is on the southern side of Vivian St, a short distance west of its intersection with Cambridge Terrace. 

From 2011, it was the central hub for all Whitireia performance disciplines until earlier this year when Te Auaha, or the New Zealand Institute of Creativity, opened on Dixon St in the old DEKA building, bringing together the arts and creative programmes for Whitireia and WelTec.

“It seemed an opportune time for Chow Group to put the property on the market given that it is now largely vacant,” explains Young.

“Whitireia has all but left the building and occupies just a small area which it is leasing through until January 2019.

“This will provide some modest holding income for a new owner to work with as they occupy the property or lease it out to the market.”

“The building has been configured in recent years to provide performance and studio facilities for Whitireia which in turn, could appeal to a new owner-occupier in the education or performance sectors,” says Young.

The ground floor is currently partitioned into two areas with a front showroom used as a dance studio and the rear warehouse component converted to a large high-stud theatre space. 

The first floor is partitioned into offices; the second floor is divided into several dance areas and some office space; and the top level has a large high-stud open plan performance area with very good natural light. 

“Although originally designed and built as offices, the building has undergone numerous incarnations over the years and was once a function centre,” says Young.

“Resource consent has been secured to allow for redevelopment as residential accommodation and an add-value investor could recognise the potential for student hostel or backpacker accommodation given the growing demand for these facilities in the city.

“With Central Area zoning, a height limit of 27 metres and a dearth of available land in the Te Aro commercial area, this site presents an opportunity on any number of counts.”