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Demand for Canterbury commercial property undiminished

Demand for Canterbury commercial property undiminished post-election

Commercial real estate firm Colliers International says demand for commercial property in Canterbury is as strong as it was pre-election.

Four properties were sold today (Thursday) at its first gala auction since the change in government, including a newly-built KFC restaurant in Rolleston and an historic building façade in Christchurch’s High Street.

Mark Macauley, general manager of Colliers International in Christchurch, says the auctions were very active with four of the six properties offered sold on the day.

“What we saw in the auction room was a demonstration of the ongoing strength in the commercial property market here in Canterbury. This was particularly noteworthy given it was out first gala auction since the election.

“There is often talk about elections impacting negatively on investment enthusiasm, but we didn’t see that in the auctions which were very well attended with strong interest from bidders.”

The highest value sale of the day was $3.215 million for a newly-built property at Rolleston on long-term lease to Restaurant Brands Limited, trading as KFC.

The 2,781sq m freehold property is on a new 10-year lease to Restaurant Brands with numerous rights of renewal extending until 2063, and returns a substantial passive income of $170,000 net per annum.

“Bidding for the KFC building was exceptionally strong, reflecting the quality of the asset. It’s in a great location with a quality tenant, and the new owner will achieve a 5.28 percent yield on investment, which is exceptional,” says Colliers International Investment Sales Broker Courtney Doig.

An historic façade on a 144sq m area of bare land on Christchurch’s High Street was sold for a confidential amount. It had been owned by antique dealer Barry Watson for nearly 40 years, and was home to his auction house and real estate agency in the early 1980s.

In the 2000s, it housed high-end fashion boutique Victoria Black but the earthquakes destroyed most of the old masonry buildings along High Street. Watson had originally planned to redevelop the site but decided to sell.

After the earthquakes, the body of the building was demolished but the façade was propped up and preserved. It is one of the few surviving heritage buildings on High Street.

Known as Victorian Free Style, the facade was designed by former Christchurch architectural practice Clarkson and Ballantyne and built in 1900. It has two bays at first-floor level with large arched windows. The arches and flanking pilasters are adorned with relief work, as is the cornice above. Both levels of the brick façade are inset with leaded windows.

Colliers International’s Courtney Doig says it was a bit different from what is usually offered for sale.

“Particularly in the post-earthquake environment where there are less heritage buildings. We were very pleased to have this as part of our gala auction.”

Another property that went under the hammer today was 12 motel units on Papanui Road with a total land area of 1,517sq m, which sold for $1.7 million on an ‘as-is, where is’ basis.

“This property gives the buyer options for repairing or re-developing. As a result, it was another property that attracted good, strong bidding in the auction room,” Mark Macauley says.

A property that did not sell and is still on the market is the restored character building housing the Dux Central, at the former Poplar Lane in Christchurch’s inner-city.

The complex incorporates the Dux Central’s offerings, along with the speakeasy cocktail lounge bar, the Pot Sticker Dumpling Bar and Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza. It is the only remaining building from the renowned Poplar Lane hospitality precinct and is now 100 percent of the new Building Standard.

The circa 1900 building was completely stripped back and is effectively a new building inside the old brick façade.


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