Office and apartment blocks mooted for historic CBD site
Office and apartment blocks mooted for historic CBD hotel site on the market for sale
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One of the biggest commercial and residential properties in the heart of Hamilton’s CBD – including a heritage listed building - has been placed on the market for sale.
The property is within a substantial 5,395 square metre site on the corner of Victoria Street and Sapper Moore-Jones Place, and runs from Hamilton’s main street to the banks of the Waikato River in a near-rectangular shape.
On the city side, the site features a range of commercial and residential tenancies with vacant space. The Victoria Street frontage encompasses a large portion of the city’s former Hamilton Hotel – where the Queen and Prince Philip stayed during their 1953 tour of New Zealand. The structure has a Category 2 heritage classification and now consists of a range of smaller units.
Meanwhile adjoining it sits a sizeable chunk of land with a substantial residence overlooking the Waikato River. The house was originally built as the maids’ quarters for staff at the hotel. It was later converted to become what was the Hamilton Theatre, one of the first performance halls in the city.
After a massive two year refurbishment in the early 2000s, the theatre was transformed into an imposing five bedroom/three bathroom residential dwelling of approximately 638 square metres – complete with palatial gardens overlooking the river. Adjacent to the main house is a one bedroom ‘servant’s quarters’.
This block of commercial premises, retail units, the residential dwellings, and development land, has been placed on the market through Bayleys Real Estate salespeople Mike Adams and William Coates in Auckland, and Richard Graham in Hamilton, with tender offers closing on November 21.
Mr Graham said the property was one of the biggest locations in central Hamilton to come onto the market since the mid-1990s, and was available for development in a variety of configurations subject to Hamilton City Council consents.
He said the commercial premises within the block featured 50 metres of Victoria Street frontage over two storey's, with a further 100 metres of street frontage onto Marlborough Place. The residential lands and dwelling at the rear of the site could, subject to Hamilton City Council consents, be subdivided off from the front portion.
“There are two commercial tenancies within the block on Victoria Street – Bar 101 and NV Hair Salon,” Mr Graham said. “Above the retail units are three residential apartments and the cottage in the grounds behind. Combined, the retail and residential tenancies are forecast to generate a holding income in excess of $150,000 per annum, with a large area of vacant space providing the potential to significantly increase rental returns in the future.“
Adjoining hospitality businesses Bluestone Room, Easy Tiger and The Victoria Function Room, along with some apartments, are housed within separately owned units inside the former Hamilton Hotel site, and are not part of the sale.
The property being offered for sale is owned by commercial entities linked to a Hamilton family trust. Mr Graham said that the trust’s beneficiaries were now seeking other business opportunities, and the trust was therefore selling down part of its property portfolio.
The Hamilton Hotel is steeped in Waikato’s history. The first hotel on the corner site was built in 1865 and burnt to the ground in 1898. It was rebuilt. A second fire at the hotel, in 1922, claimed three lives – including that of famous Gallipoli soldier/artist Horace Moore-Jones who painted the poignant ‘Simpson and his Donkey’ image of the conflict.
Mr Adams said a considerable amount of structural strengthening and engineering work had been undertaken on the Victoria Street properties over the past two years – lifting the earthquake compliance rating to around 67 percent. The engineering report was available for review by potential purchasers.
“The vendor had plans to
increase the number of commercial or residential tenancies
within the old Hamilton Hotel floor plan, but has now
realised this vision may not necessarily align with other
developers and while new owners may wish to used the space
for apartment living, others may see greater value in the
creation of new commercial space instead, or potentially
adding new levels,” he said.
“As such, the interior character of the building has been left relatively open to present a ‘blank canvas’ opportunity.”
Mr Adams added that the raft of development permutations available for the multi-zoned site meant it was virtually impossible to gauge its value.
“For example, the Victoria Street façade could be kept intact and new commercial space added above the existing levels. Or it could accommodate more apartments. The bare land to rear of the site could be developed into a mid-rise mixed-use commercial and residential block or the existing dwelling could be retained ‘as is’ for an outstanding CBD residence,” he said.
“There is an existing proposed subdivision plan that would allow for the river-side portion of the landholding to be separated from the front portion. That subdivision would include the existing dwelling and smaller unit on a land area of 3710 square metres with access from Marlborough Place.
“With so many development options on
offer, we anticipate the tender values to vary considerable
according to final land configuration - as we have already
received interest from a number of parties with widely
varying end-use plans.”
Tenders for unit 11 at 170 Victoria Street close on November 21.