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Historic Lyttelton real estate up for sale


Two historic pieces of Lyttelton real estate up for sale

28 October 2008 - Two special pieces of Lyttelton real estate are on the market, with both an historic hotel and a landmark commercial building in the thriving portside town being listed for sale with Harcourts.

Being marketed for separate vendors by Elaine Ferguson of Harcourts Grenadier Real Estate's Harbourside office in Lyttelton, the prominent, centrally located commercial properties up for sale are the prosperous Empire Hotel and a former Salvation Army Hall currently rented by one retail and one residential tenant.

Built in 1914 at 9 London Street, a prime spot on the sunny side of Lyttelton's main street, the owner-occupied 880m2 Empire Hotel has recently been renovated and refurbished and is today home to three thriving business units, Miss Ferguson explains.

"Following a period of neglect this grand old lady has received a welcome face-lift along with some thoughtful interior remodelling," she says. "In her current form she boasts a busy and successful bar and a popular general store at street level, while upstairs there is a three-bedroom apartment in which the current owners live, plus two bathrooms and five comfortable guestrooms, all of which have either harbour or hill views."

Miss Ferguson says the basement level of the hotel, which in years gone by housed the original wine and liquor stores, the laundry plus the coal and wood rooms, has been converted into a modern cellar by the current owners, while the general store is operating in what was the original public bar of the Hotel.

"Swathed in sun for a large part of the day the building's frontage supports a number of pavement tables which are used by patrons of the bar and the general store, which is the only dairy in town and is renowned for the massive ice creams sold there."

Miss Ferguson says the Empire Hotel offers a new generation of loyal clientele that a new owner could continue to be build on, or there is potential for alternative use to be made of the building.

"The current owners have done an excellent job but they're ready to move on and are happy to negotiate flexible settlement terms to enable a smooth transition, whether or not the hotel is sold as a going concern."

Meanwhile, further along the main street there is another excellent commercial investment opportunity.

Formerly a Salvation Army Hall, the two-storied character-fronted building located at 36 London Street is approximately 193m2 and encompasses a separate studio flat at the rear of the building, plus a large hall on the ground floor with its own mezzanine area.

Miss Ferguson says the wheelchair-accessible hall has great character features and includes a toilet, kitchen, storage room and wood-burner while the studio flat, which has its own separate access, includes a kitchen, shower and toilet, and offers "plenty of scope to be enhanced".

The flat and the hall are currently rented to two separate tenants, with a periodic tenancy on the flat and a six month lease on the hall/mezzanine, which is currently home to Haunt, a popular antiques and interiors studio.

Miss Ferguson describes the building, which is being marketed with an asking price of $570,000 plus GST (if any), as "a superb opportunity".

"On offer is an excellent, well-located, fully-tenanted character building in a thriving town, so that in itself makes this building a good proposition. The icing on the cake is that the existing leases are not long-term so the new owner has considerable flexibility, either to select their own choice of tenants in due course or to take over the lease on the flat and/or the rest of the building themselves."


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