Ponsonby split risk retail and apartment building

5:00 AM Saturday February 21, 2015 Colin Taylor

This commercial building with rooftop apartments is for sale at 129-131 Ponsonby Rd.

A Mixed Use Ponsonby property that has been owned and operated by two generations of a family business is up for sale for the first time in 70 years offering an add value opportunity for an investor or owner occupier.

Located on a 483 sq m freehold site at 129-131 Ponsonby Rd, the building comprises 183 sq m of ground floor retail space with sought-after frontage to Ponsonby Rd and four, two-to-five bedroom residential apartments above.  It is being marketed by Alan Haydock and Damien Bullick, Bayleys Auckland by tender closing March 17, 2015.

“The property houses the well-known Bhana Brothers' green grocerery store established back in the early 1940s,” says Haydock. “The building was originally constructed in the 1920s and had two retail shops with a residential flat above but after the Bhana family acquired it they reconfigured the ground floor into one shop for their business.

“Ownership of the business and the property was passed down to the next generation of the family. While retaining the sale of fresh fruit and vegetables as the basis of the business they have also increased the popularity of the store by transforming it into something of a gourmet mini market, with a wide range of specialty items, and by building up a very successful floristry outlet as well.

“To diversify their income stream, they also developed the rear of the property in the late 1990s, adding new apartments. They have now decided they wish to capitalise on that expenditure and make the most of the current strong demand for this type of well located Mixed Use property, particularly in a popular suburb like Ponsonby. However, they are offering to lease back the ground floor for a year to give the new owner time to firm up future plans for that space.”

The property is therefore being offered for sale fully leased at a total net annual rental income of about $250,000. Bhana Bros lease back of their premises will be at a rental of $125,000 plus GST per annum and the fully occupied apartments are producing an approximate net yearly rent of $125,000. The two bedroom apartment is currently rented at $500 a week; two three-bedroom apartments are producing $550 to $570 a week; and the five bedroom apartment, which the original flat forms part of, is generating weekly rent of $850.

Bullick says the apartments are well presented with the majority offering panoramic north facing vistas of the Auckland CBD and Waitemata Harbour with decks that take advantage of the views.

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Street view of gourmet mini market and florists for sale at 129-131 Ponsonby Rd (left). Full view of roof and apartments (right).

The apartments also have the benefit of four secure basement car parks and in two uncovered car parks at the rear of the property. These are accessed via a service lane on the building’s western side that gives rear access to the ground floor retail space.

“With a 50/50 income split between the retail and residential components of the property, it offers a new owner a good spread of risk across two sectors of the market,” says Bullick.

“The ground floor could also easily be reconfigured into two retail outlets once again which would provide an investor with the opportunity to maximise the income return from this space. “The property could also appeal to an owner occupier wanting to secure a retail position in this fashionable part of Ponsonby Road and who could use the income from the apartments, and possibly also part of the ground floor space, to help fund the acquisition of the property.”

Bullick says the property is in a high profile position on the corner of Ponsonby Rd, Franklin Road and Picton St, in one of Auckland's premier shopping and hospitality strips.

“It is located across the road from SPQR and Ponsonby Central, a popular new boutique retail and food and beverage complex created out of an industrial building by developer Andy Davies. It is also close to the Ponsonby Village International Food Court which, as anyone who has been there will know, is one of Auckland’s busiest eating places. There are numerous other bars and restaurants and boutique shops located close by as well,” Bullick says. 

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Alan Haydock (left) & Damien Bullick (right) of Bayleys.

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