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Popular rural town's hotel site ripe for redevelopment

Ngatea Hotel, the only licensed meeting place for locals and visitors in the small rural township on SH2, is on the market for sale.

Owned and run by the same publican for more than 20 years until he retired and leased it out, the Ngatea Hotel at 32 Orchard Road West is on one of the biggest pieces of available commercial land on SH2 between Pokeno and Katikati in the Bay of Plenty.

The property is a fully fledged hotel with a bar, restaurant and accommodation on 6,657 square metre commercially zoned site in four titles and is being marketed by Bayleys Ngatea salespeople Josh Smith and Daniel Keane for sale by auction on August 29.

“The hotel has a central role in the township as the only licensed seven-day establishment serving local farmers, tradesmen and sports teams and the ever increasing through traffic on the main highway to Coromandel Peninsula and Tauranga,” Mr Smith said.

“It is ripe for redevelopment with the lease ending in 2026 and numerous options for housing and retail operations.”

Offering a traditional “kiwi” pub atmosphere, the Ngatea Hotel has a public bar with Sky Sport and TAB facilities, a lounge area used for live bands and other events as well as an outdoor garden bar. There is a separate gaming area containing 15 pokie machines with access through the main doors.

Adjoining the bar is a bottle store, which has separate access from the side parking area as well as internal access from the bar.

In addition to the main building, and joined by a covered walkway, is the restaurant and accommodation wing, with a three-bedroom manager's residence.

The hotel is leased until January 2026 with no further rights of renewal and returns $90,000 a year with rent reviews to market in January 2021, 2023, and 2025. “This allows a new owner to to extend the tenancy or explore the redevelopment potential of the site,” Mr Smith said.

Ngatea's supermarket and hardware stores are bursting at the seams as the town booms and the population expands. “Its rural lifestyle is becoming popular for commuters with jobs in both Hamilton and Auckland,” he said.

This is being experienced by Ngatea's Hauraki Plains College, which has about 780 pupils. People are moving to the town for the primary schooling and college, which is one of the top academic state schools in the country. It is expecting to enrol more pupils over the next couple of years as residential subdivisions in the north and south of the town are developed.

“There are numerous options for redevelopment of the hotel site, particularly as commercial infrastructure is in short supply,” Mr Smith said.

“About 2,000 square metres of the property can be accessed at the rear from Dent Street and could be suitable for housing development, Mr Smith said. “The remaining land would be ideal for a multi-unit retail development in the heart of the thriving town.”

“A new owner could also extend the lease while he scopes out the best and highest use for the property, which has the biggest profile in the town and is for sale for the first time in a quarter of a century.”

Ngatea's first shop opened in 1911, operated by a Kerepehi resident who travelled each day by river, then the main outlet for settlers. It supplied most of the day-to-day needs of the local people, much as the hotel serves as the most frequent meeting place for locals today, Mr Smith said.

Ngatea developed as a main trading centre for the plains and the residential area steadily expanded with other villages' populations remaining static, but declining in many others.

Change is still taking place, with an increasing number of retired people now living in Ngatea, commuters finding the rural lifestyle appealing and the town's dual role serving the surrounding farming community and visitors through the hotel, a motel, veterinary services, hardware shops, garages and workshops, service stations, cafes, dairies and convenience food outlets, good for business.

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