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Big East Auckland retail and business centre up for sale

Big East Auckland retail and business centre up for sale

One of Auckland’s longest established shopping centres, the Pakuranga Plaza, is up for sale -offering a new owner a substantial income flow from close to 100 tenants as well as significant development potential from a probable future zoning change.

Located on a high profile site of just under four hectares on the corner of Pakuranga Road and Ti Rakau Drive in East Auckland, Pakuranga Plaza comprises a mixture of retail and office space with a gross lettable area of 29,541 square metres. The property has the potential to generate net passing income of approximately $8.35 million per annum.

It is being offered for sale by Ladstone Holdings which purchased it off Australian-based shopping centre giant Westfield in late 2012.

“We have spent the last 18 months or so rejuvenating, repositioning and rebranding the centre as Pakuranga Plaza,” says Ladstone Holding’s chief executive Kim Bennett.

“Our decision to sell is in line with our previous commercial investments over the past 25 years where we upgrade our properties, add value and then move on to invest in our next project.”

Bayleys Real Estate has been appointed to market Pakuranga Plaza which is being offered for sale by international tender, closing on October 29, through David Bayley, James Chan and Chris Bayley.

The property consists of the three main components:
• The main enclosed shopping mall which has a Farmers department store and a Countdown supermarket at either end and a mix of other national, international and local retailers in between plus the four-level Plaza Tower which accommodates a number of office tenants.
• The Warehouse Plaza, which is anchored by The Warehouse and also incorporates speciality ‘strip’ retailers.
• The standalone Plaza Business Centre which is anchored by ANZ Bank and also contains some office tenancies.

Bayleys Real Estate executive director David Bayley says the vendor’s preference is to sell the property in its entirety but separate tenders for one or more of the three component parts would also be considered.

“This offering provides a rare opportunity to purchase a substantial shopping mall which has a strong cashflow and where the hard work in terms of refurbishing and reinvigorating the centre has been done,” says Mr Bayley.

“However, there is also a huge opportunity to unlock further value from the property in the medium term through more intensive development under a mixed use Town Centre zoning that is proposed under the new Auckland Unitary Plan.”

In particular, the zoning encourages higher density residential living with buildings of up to 12 storeys permitted. David Bayley says Ladstone Holdings has commissioned concept plans which illustrate a possible staged development scenario which includes five 10 to 12 storey apartment buildings positioned on top of existing retail buildings and on the north eastern corner of the site, which could potentially provide up to 1,000 apartments.

Originally opened in 1965 as the AMP-owned Pakuranga Town Centre, the mall was one of the first large shopping centres in New Zealand - incorporating Farmers and George Court department stores. The mall itself has been transformed several times since it was first built, and retains little of its 1960s open air appearance. Westfield purchased the Plaza in 1997 and it was renamed Westfield Pakuranga.

The shopping centre currently has more than 80 stores, and in addition to its major anchor tenants has a number of national and global retail brands plus a foodcourt with 10 outlets. The centre is also a business hub with the Plaza Tower’s office space occupied by a variety of local businesses.

Kim Bennett says Ladstone undertook a substantial amount of community consultation after it took over ownership of the mall.

“The thing that came through most strongly was that people wanted a local shopping centre that identified strongly with what was happening in Pakuranga and Howick.

“So we’ve endeavoured to differentiate Pakuranga Plaza from the big, less personal regional shopping centres and repositioned and rebranded it to give it more of a local flavour, particularly in terms of the marketing that is undertaken.

“The Plaza services a big catchment area, similar to the size of a city like Dunedin, and an important focus has been on improving what it offers surrounding residents through initiatives such as community and sporting sponsorships, market days, competitions, seasonal events and promotions.”

Bennett says extensive refurbishment and upgrading work has been undertaken on both the exterior and the interior of the buildings, much of it at night time when the Plaza is closed to the public. This has included repainting and retiling work, a new entrance and frontage, with new branding and profiling, replacing many of the retail facades as well as refurbishing office space in the Plaza Tower.

“We’ve also built up a very strong seven-person management and marketing team. So a new owner would benefit from the comprehensive management systems that have been established and which are administered by a dedicated and experienced team.”

ENDS

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