River City Farmers on long lease

5:58 PM Friday September 7, 2018 True Commercial

Whanganui Farmers at 88 Saint Hill St. Photo / Supplied

The Farmers Whanganui is on the market for sale — offering a 25-year-lease which is likely to appeal to property investors.

JLL agent John Binning is selling the operation’s land and buildings comprising a substantial property of two-level standalone retail buildings of about 5660sq m, on a site of about 6000sq m, including 65 carparks.

The property, which occupies a prime city centre site with two street frontages, is being marketed for sale through a tender process closing at 4pm, on October 18.

Binning says with its access from Victoria Ave, and also fronting on to Saint Hill St and Maria Place, the property receives unsurpassed visibility profile to passing traffic.

“This building is relatively new, having been built for Farmers in 2014-2015; the seismic rating is 100 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS),” he adds.

“So here is an excellent opportunity to secure one of New Zealand’s longest investment leases available today. The 25-year lease to Farmers was signed in 2015 and expires in 2040. Passing rent is $1,103,798 per annum, with the first rent review due in 2020. And thereafter, the rent increases annually by the Consumer Price Index, thus securely protecting it against inflation for the next 20 years.”

Farmers, one of New Zealand’s largest retail store groups, opened its first retail space in Auckland in 1920.

“The group has since been established across the country as a well-known and trusted retailer. The stores sell a range of products, from clothing to health and beauty and small appliances.

“Farmers is traditionally known as a middle market retailer, similar to Sears or JC Penny in the US, although following The Warehouse’s entrance into the New Zealand market, the company has moved to establish dominance in the upper end of the market; increasingly carrying more branded products.

“The number of Farmers stores in New Zealand is growing with a new store in Silverdale; planned new stores in Auckland at Sylvia Park; the rebuild of the Newmarket store as part of the Westfield expansion project; and in the Tauranga Crossing in the Bay of Plenty,” Binning says.

James Pascoe Group and Fisher & Paykel purchased Farmers Trading Company in 2003 for $311m. The group, the largest retailer in New Zealand, owns brands such as Pascoes Jewellers, Stewart Dawsons, Goldmark, Stevens and Whitcoulls, along with retail brands in Australia.

Binning says Manawatu-Whanganui district’s tourism is on the rise, having increased by 5 per cent over the past 12 months. In 2009 tourist spending in the region was $639m and hit $993m in February 2018.

“Whanganui is strong in industry such as manufacturing, engineering and farming, however visitor and tourist spend is also important to the district,” he says.

“The Farmers building is in a prime location to capture this retail spend, much of which comes from Wellingtonians who venture out of their city to experience a different shopping environment.”