Newton church could make corporate statement

5:00 AM Saturday April 22, 2017 True Commercial

The Congregational Church of Jesus is for sale at 3 East Street, Newton, Auckland. Photo / Supplied

A character building that has previously been used as a church and theatre on the fringe of Auckland’s CBD is up for sale offering a wide range of opportunities for its next owner.

The 1144 sq m early 20th Century building located on two freehold titles totalling 878sq m is for sale by tender closing May 29, unless sold prior to that date. It is featured in Bayleys’ latest Total Property portfolio and is being marketed by James Hill and Shane Snijder.

Hill says it is being put up for sale by the Congregational Church of Jesus which has occupied it for the last 25 years but is intending to relocate out of the central city. The property is located on the corner of East St and Galatos St, a short distance from Karangahape Rd.

“The vendor would consider a short-time lease back of the property to provide the new owner with holding income while plans are put in place to add value to this landmark character building which oozes potential. It’s a property that has a real ‘wow’ factor and has been maintained in good condition by its current owners.

“It could appeal to wide range of owner occupiers such as another church or community group or for gallery space or boutique accommodation. It also offers a great opportunity for a corporate occupier looking for premises that will enable them to make a strong, individual statement about their business in a flourishing city fringe location.

“Alternatively an add-value investor or developer with an interest in older buildings could bring their own creative flair to a refurbishment that would create something truly special, targeted at a growing number of tenants looking for high quality character space.”

Shane Snijder says the building is currently separated into a large hall towards the southern boundary, a main hall entered through a large foyer at the principal entrance to the building, and a number of small offices and rooms running off each of the corners of the property.

A large catering area is located at the back western end of the main hall along with bathroom facilities. The upper level offers a number of fixed seats for congregation and provides more rooms and offices at each corner.

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The church could appeal to wide range of owner occupiers such as another church or community group. Photo / Supplied

“There are three separate entry points to the building off the East Street frontage and overall the property functions very well in its current configuration as a community facility.”

The property is zoned Business City Centre Karangahape Road Precinct which seeks to maintain and enhance the area’s distinctive form and street scape character.

Hill says there have been refurbishments of older industrial and commercial buildings in the surrounding area into character office, showroom, retail or entertainment accommodation and the whole of Karangahape Road precinct is undergoing a major rejuvenation.

The most recent example is Tawera Group’s redevelopment of almost a whole city block fronting K’ Road between Hereford and Howe Streets.

It has converted the 20-level former Telecom head office building into apartments and is also refurbishing two levels of character accommodation running along the K Road frontage into a mixture of retail and office accommodation.

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The property for sale is identified by a red border in this elevated view. Photo / Supplied

Electric car maker Tesla will be the anchor tenant for this space leasing 2019 sq m for a retail store and service centre plus its New Zealand head office.

K’ Road itself is scheduled for a major revamp in 2018. Suggested improvements by Auckland Council include adding a separate cycle way, peak hour bus lanes, improved landscaping, upgrading the existing street furniture and creating more opportunities for outdoor dining and street activities.

The completion of the City Rail Link in 2023 will also result in a new station being opened near the intersection of K’ Rd and Pitt Street, a short stroll away from 3 East Street.

This will link with the Britomart transport hub via a station at Aotea Square and also connect with existing western line at a new Mt Eden Station. This will provide commuter access to Newmarket and as far west as Swanson.

Hill says the City Rail Link will provide additional impetus for the rejuvenation of properties such as 3 East Street which are close to the K’ Road station.