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NZ Family sells up St Heliers holding

Property Here - Saturday, June 01, 2013

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Scotting property a 'trophy' returning strong rental income in a premier seaside suburb's commercial heart.
Street view of frontage of the shops included in St Heliers Village sale. Photo / Supplied
Street view of frontage of the shops included in St Heliers Village sale. Photo / Supplied

A big block of land and two character buildings occupied by six shops in the centre of St Heliers Village are for sale for the first time in nearly 90 years.

The offering encompasses 567sq m of buildings on a 910sq m site with over 25m of frontage on St Heliers Bay Rd, plus an adjoining block of 303sq m of land at the rear on Maheke St.

The property with two street frontages is producing net annual rental income of $324,624 from eight tenancies and is being marketed by Cameron Melhuish and James Chan of Bayleys Auckland office. Melhuish says it is one of a number of trophy properties featured in Bayleys' latest Total Property magazine and will go to auction on June 26, unless it sells by private treaty prior to that date.

The St Heliers Bay Rd's portion of the property has been owned by descendants of the Scotting family since 1927, when Albert William Scotting established a butcher's shop there, which his son, John, eventually took over. In those days, St Heliers was relatively undeveloped and was a popular holiday destination with ferry transport being a common way of getting to and from the area. The 1930s witnessed the demolition of the ferry wharf after improved bus services and Tamaki Drive were opened.

Like many retailers of that era Albert Scotting offered customers home delivery, with a fleet of A W Scotting branded trucks transporting meat over a wide area to as far away as Remuera. He was a prominent member of the St Heliers community and was president of St Heliers Bowling Club, a life member of Teachers Eastern Rugby Club and was heavily involved with the tennis club. He was also president of the Auckland Master Butchers' Association.

In later years, he acquired other neighbouring shops along St Heliers Bay Rd and his family's holding now encompasses six retail outlets in two character single level buildings, one of which bears his name.

The A W Scotting building at 13-15 St Heliers Bay Rd comprises two tenancies, with one fittingly home to the village's current butcher's shop while a linen and gift shop occupies the other.

The other four shops run from 17-21A St Heliers Bay Rd to the south, and are occupied by St Heliers Fruit Mart, Vivo Hair and Beauty Salon, Daniel's Bookshop and Harvey's Footwear (Kellers Shoes).

To the rear of this block, at 10 Maheke St, an early 1900s 125sq m villa accommodates a longstanding accountancy business that has been in occupation since 1988. Lease terms range from three to seven years with varying rights of renewal and mostly two-yearly rent reviews.

"All of the retail shops have excellent exposure to busy St Heliers Bay Rd and are proven performers, enjoying high rates of occupancy for many years with a number of long-standing tenants," says Melhuish. "The multitenanted lease profile also provides good risk diversification, which is a sought after attribute by investors."

The shops have similar layouts with a high stud, open-plan retail area to the front with services and amenities behind. Melhuish says the buildings' exteriors have been maintained in good order and have been repainted recently, with the tenants responsible for the fit-out of the shops.

The two St Heliers Bay Rd buildings are separated by a driveway leading to two blocks of garages which are used for storage by tenants. One of these houses a Telecom mast, which also provides rental income. The balance of this area is sealed car parking and adjoins the rear of the Maheke St property which has an under-utilised area behind the villa.

Chan says together, the properties offer a substantial land holding of 1214sq m. "The combination of the size of the site, the favourable underlying zoning and dual street frontage, does provide a new owner with add-value options in keeping with the character and charm of the St Heliers Bay Village.

"However, first and foremost, this is an outstanding long-term investment opportunity to acquire a substantial slice of one of Auckland's oldest and most vibrant seaside retail precincts, which is producing a significant cash flow."