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New Owner To Restore Landmark Auckland Hotel


July 2005

New Owner To Restore Landmark Auckland Hotel

The Albion Hotel at 119 Hobson Street in Auckland was recently sold by Barry Collard of DTZ to Peter and Anita Simpson, entrepreneurs who have embarked on a five year plan to restore the landmark building, as closely as possible, to its original condition.

The Hotel, which changed hands for over $3,5M, occupies a corner site with street frontage to both Hobson Street and Wellesley Street West in Auckland's CBD.

An older style character building, The Albion was constructed around 1880 and comprises four floors plus basement. Accommodation includes 21 hotel rooms over three levels, all with ensuites, a basement brasserie and a ground level bar. The building underwent major structural upgrading initiated by Lion Nathan in the 1970s involving significant internal structural work but maintaining the integrity of external facades in their original state.

The Simpsons, who are active in the local mobile phone market and also have business interests in Australia, wanted to own a character building in Auckland incorporating a going concern. "We believe that cities should value and protect buildings of historical interest and this was a motivation in purchasing The Albion," says Peter Simpson. "The hotel is currently trading as it stands and we intend to do our restorations over time so as not to disrupt business. As far as possible, we plan to take it right back to its original condition which will include a complete restoration of the exterior."

DTZ has recently expanded its Auckland agency services with a specialised Hotel, Hospitality and Tourism division handling sales and valuations of licensed premises, lodging property and all other hospitality related businesses.

Commenting on the sale Simpson said, "DTZ provided excellent service and their expertise in the hospitality sector was obvious. This was especially important to me because, although I have purchased a number of businesses, I am new to this particular industry and the team provided me with objective advice and information that enabled me to make the right purchase. If I was ever to buy another hotel I would use DTZ without hesitation."

Notwithstanding the fact that the hotel and hospitality industry has faced some challenges recently in terms of new legislation, DTZ has made some significant sales in recent months.

"Besides The Albion we have also sold the Duke of Wellington Tavern, at 570 Mt Wellington Highway and the Silo Bar & Grill at 736 Great South Road, Manukau," says Barry Collard. "The market has started to adjust to the new smoking and gaming legislation so we are seeing values stabilise in certain categories of licensed property especially in freehold landlord interests which are maintaining value due to limited supply and a probable surplus demand."

With nine offices countrywide, DTZ is one of New Zealand's largest property service companies providing a full range of services at local, regional and international levels to occupiers, investors and developers across all sectors of the real estate market.


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