Wet your whistle: Future options for Windsor Castle
The landmark hotel is for sale, with consent to build apartments around the building. Photo / Supplied
A corner site in Parnell, home to the former Windsor Castle hotel for more than 150 years, is up for sale with a resource consent to develop apartments in and around the historic building.
The 998sq m two-level building and outdoor area and the 890sq m of land it sits on, at 144 Parnell Rd, at the intersection with Windsor St, is up for tender with council approval for a mixed-use development incorporating the heritage classified premises.
“Under this proposal, the building would be home to over 400sq m of high quality food and beverage premises on the ground floor with two apartments above,” says Alan Haydock, director of Bayleys’ Auckland City & Fringe division.
“A further 11 boutique apartments would surround the existing structure and the development also has approval for 26 car parks using a triple stacker system.”
Haydock and fellow Bayleys’ senior broker Cameron Melhuish are marketing the offering, which is a trophy listing in the agency’s latest Total Property portfolio. Tenders close at 4pm on September 18, unless the property is sold earlier.
The building is being sold partially occupied, with annual holding income of $60,000 plus GST being generated from upper level office accommodation.
Drinks company East Imperial Ltd, which exports New Zealand-made mixers, including tonic and soda water, to over 30 countries, has a licence to occupy the entire first floor and four car parks for $5000 plus GST per month. This can be terminated with one month’s notice by either party.
The ground floor and basement, which are divided into a number of bars and function areas and were previously occupied by the hotel, are being offered with vacant possession.
Haydock says the vendor has added considerable value by obtaining consent for a mixed-use redevelopment that would maximize the value of the full site and which could commence almost immediately.
However, it would be over to the next owner as to whether they activated that consent or pursued their own plans.
“Given the building’s strong location and heritage status, it would suit a wide range of uses. An owner occupier could create bespoke premises for their business, making full use of the building,” says Haydock.
Another resource consent was also issued in 2011 to subdivide the ground floor and basement areas into multiple retail tenancies, utilising the building’s extensive glazing along Parnell Rd as shop windows. This consent is valid until 2021.
Melhuish says the building was extensively refurbished internally and externally to a high standard in 2000 with the upper level converted to character office space.
“Structural strengthening was undertaken as part of this refurbishment and its seismic assessment of 53.9 per cent of New Building Standard (NBS) is good for a building of this age.”
“A subsequent owner has taken measures to further strengthen the property to increase the seismic rating to 100 per cent of NBS. Some of the work needed to do this has already been undertaken and could be completed as part of any future upgrading of the building.”
The current Windsor Castle hotel was built constructed in the early 1850s and is one of Auckland’s oldest remaining brick buildings.
Originally constructed as a Georgian drinking house, the hotel was remodelled in the 1880s when architect, R. MacKay Fripp was commissioned to create a large Victorian corner pub. An elaborate Italianate facade was added which still dominates its appearance.
Heritage New Zealand bestowed a Historic Place Category 1 classification on the building in 1997, saying it makes a strong contribution to the streetscape of Parnell and adds considerably to the historic character of the suburb.
“Over its life, the building has been added to and refurbished but many of its character attributes have been maintained,”
says Melhuish. “Given the exterior of the building has the highest possible historical protection, any further work needs to be respectful of that.”
The ground floor layout features a restaurant area, which is accessed off the ornate corner entrance to the building and includes an adjacent outdoor dining space. Beside this is a bar with a courtyard and a separate entrance from Parnell Rd.
The ground floor also contains a commercial kitchen and cold storage as well as additional storage space and an office. There is currently stacked parking for six cars off Windsor Street.
A 36sq m basement area was the Windsor Castle’s original cellar. More recently it has been used as a private function room.
The upper level has its own separate access and comprises character offices. “This floor provides elegant, high stud office accommodation with original polished wooden tongue and groove flooring,” says Melhuish.
Haydock says the property is superbly positioned on a high profile corner site at the CBD end of Parnell’s main thoroughfare, close to some of Auckland’s best restaurants, cafes, bars and shops. “It is also within easy walking distance of multiple public transport options, including the Parnell train station.”