Mini portfolio for ‘insatiable’ buyers

By Colin Taylor, article courtesy of NZ Herald

Barfoot & Thompson Commercial is launching its first ‘mini-portfolio’ of the year comprising 17 properties and made up of nine investment offerings, four owner-occupier properties and four development sites.

Fittingly entitled, First 17, the properties are to be sold by a variety of methods with nine for sale by private treaty, four by tender, three to auction and one by deadline private treaty.

"Early signs for the 2017 year are very good," says John Urlich, commercial manager for Barfoot & Thompson Commercial.

"The market is buoyant with the momentum of last year ongoing and inquiry being consistently good. It’s certainly better than the beginning of 2016 when a global share market upheaval ushered in our new year. Too often we forget, uncertainty is often only temporary." 

Urlich says investors, developers and owner-occupiers should buy now if properties meet the grade.

Across Auckland Harbour, Simon Farland, commercial sales manager for the agency’s North Shore Commercial office says there is "an insatiable demand" from purchasers for property across all sectors with competition between owner occupiers and investors keeping yields at historic low levels.

"Vacancy rates, particularly in the industrial sector, are so acutely low, it is unhealthy for the region with significant demand for space unable to be satisfied in the short to medium term," Farland says. Occupiers are being forced into third party storage solutions and are awaiting newer greenfield locations to come on stream like those in Hobsonville and Silverdale.

"This lack of existing stock while fuelling competition for existing premises has also seen developers again speculating and successfully selling down off plans, strata opportunities in many cases within weeks of hitting the market and setting new benchmarks in terms of rental levels."

Development pipeline set to continue into 2017

He says the development pipeline is set to continue into 2017 with a significant number of new retail and industrial developments due for completion towards this year. 

"This will test the resilience of the small and medium industrial leasing market and is likely to swing the market from a landlords’ one back to some form of equilibrium in this location."

Farland says office leasing has followed suit with a steady uptake in the main commercial hubs of Takapuna and Albany – marked by some significant larger deals having been concluded towards the end of 2016. "This demand will be met with number of developments underway and some innovative shared space new working solutions such as Smales Farms B Hive due for completion towards the end of the year."

He says the Unitary Plan’s implications for 'the Shore' - particularly under Mixed Use zoning -  has seen vendors capitalise on increased densities especially in fringe locations especially when neighbouring sites can be amalgamated.

"The availability of funding is the main restriction on the value spiral in this market," Farland says.

John Urlich, Commercial Manager
John Urlich, Barfoot & Thompson Commercial
Simon Farland
Simon Farland, Barfoot & Thompson Commercial

39 Paramount Drive, Henderson & 194-198 Broadway, Newmarket

Urlich says two properties he likes in the First 17 portfolio are a building at 39 Paramount Drive, Henderson and a retail property at 194-198 Broadway in Newmarket.

"The Henderson property has long had a government tenant in residence and represents superb value in relation to both its passing yield and potential income," he says.

"Newmarket is always popular and the Broadway property has excellent long term prospects. The retail sector is improving and any foreseeable inflationary increases traditionally benefit the retail property sector the most.   

"This is also a time when the Auckland CBD is undergoing a great deal of earthworks making the eastern portion of the city and Newmarket increasingly popular with shoppers and diners," Urlich says.  

The 39 Paramount Drive property is a well-located and three-level office building constructed around 2003 with a 1448m²  floor area and 47 car parks on a single-titled 2282m² freehold site. The New Zealand Government has been a resident tenant since 2003.

The property is zoned Light Industry under the Auckland Unitary Plan and is fully leased to the Crown through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for annual net rental of $366,800 plus GST.

It is for sale by negotiation through Barfoot & Thompson commercial agents Colin Stewart and Jamie McDonald.

"This is a prime commercial property in West Auckland's Lincoln Road commercial precinct," Stewart says. "It has been consistently occupied over its 13 years and is located in a popular and growing commercial precinct.”

McDonald says a potential vendor finance package could be available to approved purchasers.

Prime retail/office investment property 

The Newmarket property referred to by Urlich is listed as "a prime retail/office investment property positioned within one of Auckland's most tightly held and sought after retail destinations".

Located at 194-198 Broadway it comprises a standalone, freehold, mixed retail and office building with a net lettable area is 467m² over three levels - basement, ground floor retail and first floor office.

"It features over 9.5 metres of retail frontage onto the customer-packed pavement of Broadway," says commercial sales broker Andrew Clark who, with colleague Cam Paterson, is marketing it for sale by tender closing at 4pm on Thursday, February 9 – unless it sells earlier by negotiation.

"It is strategically situated on a 192m² site opposite the Rialto Centre and cinema complex and benefits from one of the highest pedestrian foot traffic counts generated by a controlled pedestrian crossing that provides a direct link between the property and the Rialto Centre," Clark says.

It is fully leased to three tenants – Mobile High Tec, About Hair and People Media – and earns net annual rental income of $197,947 plus GST.

Paterson says that in time 194-198 Broadway could be redeveloped to take advantage of more intensive development possibilities permitted under the Unitary Plan. It is zoned Business - Metropolitan Centre Zone allowing for a maximum height limit of 32.5 meters or eight stories.

"The opportunity to secure standalone retail properties with future redevelopment potential like this right in the heart of Broadway are rare," Paterson says.

Commercial property for sale: 194 Broadway, New Market
194 - 198 Broadway, Newmarket

42 Ormiston Rd, East Tamaki

Further south and also featured in the new portfolio, is a unit for sale within a 5200m² three-level modern office and car parking complex at 42 Ormiston Rd, East Tamaki, encompassing 12 stratum titled units.

The building has a prominent main road corner site location on a main arterial route and Unit 1 of 249m² occupies a prominent ground level location with its own amenities.

Commercial/industrial agents Rob Taylor and Paul Vermaak, who have a sole agency, will be auctioning the unit at 12pm on Tuesday, February 14, at the Conference Centre in the Manukau Sports Bowl.

"The light industrial zoned unit has great exposure to Laidlaw Way and ready access to dedicated car parking along with large sliding doors opening to an internal courtyard," Taylor says.

Vermaak says the unit abounds with natural light and is occupied by two professional office tenants – Mia Casa Architecture and Abbey Road Recruitment – which completed new leases in December 2016 with a combined annual rent of $57,707.

5A Earl Richardson Ave, Wiri

A short distance west, the First 17 portfolio features another commercial unit with high-visibility road frontage at 5A Earl Richardson Ave, Wiri.

It is for sale by negotiation through commercial/industrial agents Craig Brunt and Michael O’Brien and comprises one of two units on the site which are unit titled and of freehold tenure.

Brunt says the unit has a total building area of 1087m² across two levels. The now available ground floor of 548m² has a road frontage entry to reception and administration offices leading to the open plan office and seminar room areas, cafeteria and amenities.

Via stairs there is access to the upper level of 539m² which is leased for $90,000 per annum plus operating expenses and GST. This level also comprises open plan office and seminar room areas, cafeteria and amenities. An external deck with stairway extending into the rear yard area.

Altogether there are 18 car parks on site to the side of the main driveway and to the rear of the building within an electric security fenced yard area which is gated. 

Prominent position

"Due to its prominent position with good motorway access, the building lends itself to a branding opportunity," O’Brien says.

"Its current configuration provides considerable flexibility with respect to use and there are areas that can be secured and operated independently," he says. 

"The facility, which is data networked with fibre connection, was previously leased by a training organisation which has relocated to larger premises. The upper floor is presently tenanted through until late 2018 which gives a holding income at market rental and provides a future expansion option for an occupant of the ground floor," says O’Brien.

The property is 2.5km to the south of the Manukau City Central precinct with motorway access to and from the site is available via State Highway 20 which interconnects with the State Highway 1 southern motorway nearby.

The area is served by regular bus services while Manukau rail station and CBD may be reached by either bus or a short walk.

About Barfoot & Thompson Commercial

Barfoot & Thompson Commercial offer expertise in industrial and retail sales and leasing, property management and portfolio management.

Commercial property for sale: 142 Ormiston Rd
42 Ormiston Rd, East Tamaki
Commercial property for sale: 5A Earl Richardson
5A Earl Richardson Ave, Wiri