Portfolio reflects commercial strength

1:39 PM Saturday June 21, 2014 Colin Taylor

Colliers International launches its third New Zealand Portfolio today featuring 27 commercial properties and including significant Auckland sites with redevelopment potential.

The portfolio of office, industrial and retail offerings also contains several investment properties outside the region, including in Tauranga, Napier, Gisborne, Paraparaumu, Wellington, Dunedin and Invercargill.

"Our third New Zealand Portfolio for the year shows strength and depth of offerings in the commercial property market and with buyer interest intensifying we are looking forward to seeing strong sales," says Peter Herdson, national director of corporate and institutional sales for Colliers.

"The portfolio features several central Auckland redevelopment sites with holding income including a large landholding on The Strand in Parnell and another on Union St in Victoria Quarter," says Herdson.

"These sites are hitting the market just as buyer interest is taking a significant step upwards"

The property at 97-115 The Strand encompasses space occupied by Liquorland and furniture designer and supplier Matisse. It is being sold via deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on July 17 through Colliers' brokers John Green, Andrew Reed and Jason Seymour.

Herdson says "an unprecedented amount of interest" has been shown in CBD redevelopment sites in the past few months.

"Several key sites that have been sitting on the market for a long time have sold at market-leading rates per square metre. This indicates very strong investor and developer confidence in the market on the back of Auckland's economic growth."

One of the highlight retail properties for sale is occupied by a service station on a prominent freehold corner site at Dominion Rd and Mt Albert Rd in Mt Roskill.

The 2974sq m property at 386-390 Mt Albert Rd is leased to Mobil Oil NZ and earns annual rent of $130,000. It includes more than six titles to be sold in one lot by tender closing July 23.

"The property is on the market for the first time in more than 20 years," says Tony Allsop of Colliers, marketing it with colleague Will Dromgool.

"It's exceptionally well located, on a flat site at the corner of Mt Roskill's two main arterial roads - generating income through a national tenant and having significant development upside along with built-in rent reviews every 30 months to the greater of market rate or the Consumer Price Index," Allsop says.

"Mobil Oil is in its final lease term, expiring June 2016, providing an opportunity for possible redevelopment of the site. The property is currently zoned part Business 2 and part Residential 6. Under the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan it will be zoned as a Local Centre so a buyer can continue to tenant the property as is or explore a number of redevelopment options.

"With the site's flat contour and closeness to affluent central suburbs it would suit a retail development or apartments," Allsop says.

"It is consented for 24-hour operation which is a rare advantage for a number of retail users including service stations and food retailers."

Dromgool says the property is well located in Mt Roskill, an up-and-coming suburb benefiting from recent large-scale retail investment in the area including the new Roskill Centre and improving transport links.

"The completion of the new Waterview Connection in 2017 to join up State Highways 16 and 20 will complete the Western Ring Route and Mt Roskill will then be well connected with south, west and central Auckland," Dromgool says.

Out in the provinces two attractive retail units in Colliers' NZ portfolio are being offered for sale in Tauranga by Grant White and Simon Clark.

Units 3 & 4 in a new development at 850 Cameron Rd are leased to a cafe and pharmacy. They will be sold by auction at 1pm on Friday July 25 at the Trinity Wharf Hotel, Dive Cres, Tauranga unless they sell beforehand.

On the industrial front several high-quality industrial properties in Auckland are on offer in the new portfolio. One of the largest is a multi-tenanted property on a 3.9ha site at 11 Dalgety Drive in Wiri, that is earning annual rent of $1,260,000 net a year.

It is being marketed by Dwayne Warby, Greg Goldfinch and Paul Jarvie and is for sale by deadline private treaty with offers closing at 4pm on Wednesday July 23 unless it sells earlier.

Included in the portfolio are two newer industrial properties in the under-$6 million category. "These are very hard to find in that price range," says Andrew Hooper, who with colleague Brad Johnston, is marketing them for sale by auction on Thursday July 24 at Colliers Auckland offices.

The first new industrial property is at 40 Crooks Rd, East Tamaki and the second is at 50 Pavilion Drive in Airport Oaks. The latter consists of a 2161sq m A-grade office and warehouse that is leased to CHEP Aerospace Solutions generating rental income of $252,070 per annum.

"Industrial tenanted investments don't get much better than this," Hooper says.

"It's a four-year-old warehouse leased to an excellent tenant and is a type of property that rarely comes to market. It has high stud, clear-span warehousing - just the type of generic building that is most in demand with the market - and is located on prestigious Pavilion Drive in Airpark 2, where neighbouring businesses include brand names like Rinnai, Honda, Giltrap Group and Foodstuffs."

Down in Dunedin, the 26-room Hotel St Clair at 24 Esplanade is a feature hospitality property within Colliers' New Zealand Portfolio.

The hotel, with a conference facility and award-winning restaurant and bar is for sale through agents Barry Robertson and Steve McIsaac, who are offering it by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Thursday July 24 unless it sells before then.

Herdson says the latest sales figures from Colliers have shown that the value of transactions for commercial property for the year to date are up strongly compared with the same period last year.

"Since the beginning of the year the commercial property market has spiralled upward and we expect the momentum will continue through the remainder of 2014," he says.

"We continue to see very strong demand for quality commercial investments of all types including office buildings, retail properties, industrial sites and hotels.

"Development sites are also being sought, underscoring a growing confidence in the market spurred by this strong demand. In the auction rooms we are seeing large crowds and confident bidding from multiple parties, putting downward pressure on yields, particularly for well-tenanted properties on long-term leases."

Herdson says the demand for good-quality commercial properties exceeds supply. "For those considering selling it is a very good time to do so with all types of buyers active in the market. Nationally, we are seeing passive investors, owner-occupiers and add-value investors looking to re-engineer older properties to more modern uses and re-tenant them or convert to residential use."

Internationally, Herdson says interest in New Zealand continues to grow with more transactions being completed and an increasing number of investor groups coming here to seek opportunities. "These groups are predominantly from Australia and Asia with particularly strong interest from China over the last quarter."