Commercial property within the broader Courtenay Quarter – particularly along the renowned hospitality strip – is traditionally tightly-held and seldom reaches the open market, hence agents are expecting strong interest in two neighbouring properties which have been placed on the market for sale.
The adjoining properties at 128 and 132 Courtenay Place are located at the Manners Street end of Courtenay Place near its intersection with Taranaki Street, and can be bought individually, or together.
Zoned Central Area, the properties are fully-leased to hospitality businesses Enigma Café and Moustache Bar, with both venues having established operators.
Under various incarnations, each property has been fully-occupied for more than 25 years.
Grant Young and Mark Walker, Bayleys Wellington Commercial are marketing the two properties, with tenders closing 4pm, Wednesday 15 June.
Young said the two properties have character and wide appeal for add-value investors and developers looking to secure a presence in the proven and resilient commercial strip.
“Rarely is there an opportunity to acquire property in Wellington’s hospitality epicentre, let alone two adjoining buildings.
“There is minimal vacancy along Courtenay Place which is testament to the appeal it continues to have for people looking for a good time and the operators of the two subject properties are enjoying renewed trade as customers return to their favourite haunts.”
128 Courtenay Place is single storey building originally constructed circa-1914 and is primarily a timber framed structure with an iron roof and various brick elevations.
The building is currently fitted out as a funky café trading as Enigma, with the fitout having an L-shape dining area, commercial kitchen, amenities to the rear and a back courtyard with a near-full canopy, heaters and well set-up for outside dining.
Enigma Café Limited has a three year lease, with two, three-year rights of renewal over the property which has a floor area of 169sm and returns net rental of $145,480 per annum plus GST.
The venue is fondly remembered by many as the original Espressoholic café, which operated from the site until 2009, when it relocated to Cuba Street.
The original structure of 132 Courtenay Place dates back to the 1890s and has had various refurbishment work since.
The 266sqm premises has a high-stud and primarily timber framing, concrete flooring and an iron roof, and is fitted out with a bar near the street frontage and a small kitchen and amenities to the rear.
There is a high stud atrium in the centre of the building and a mezzanine floor with a second bar area accessed via a steel stairway.
Further, there is a balcony above the verandah and an outside guest area right at the street frontage.
UM Holdings Limited, trading as Moustache Bar, is on a six-year lease with three, three-year rights of renewals and the property has a net rental of $87,880 per annum plus GST, with personal guarantees in place.
Young says both properties were strengthened to a minimum 34 percent new building standard (NBS) in September 2018.
“A scheme to further strengthen the buildings to 67 percent NBS was undertaken by Tron Construction and Engineering in 2021, and this information along with costing details is available on request.
“Fair to say, it is not prohibitive and given the strength of the property offering in context with both the location and the broader investment market, we’d expect buyers to recognise the benefits.”
There is additional long-term potential for the sites given the accommodating Central Area zoning and Young says if an investor opted to buy both properties there could be scope for upwards development.
“Purchased together, with the total land area being 452sqm, there could be considerable potential down the line with development up to 27 metres possible across the combined site.”
Young says the under-construction Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre being built on a Council-owned site on Cable Street, opposite Te Papa Tongarewa near the waterfront and due for completion next year, will be a valuable addition to the Courtenay Place precinct.
“This will ultimately increase the number of prospective patrons for the hospitality and entertainment businesses along Courtenay Place as people tend to drift to the bars and cafés after event formalities are over.
“Likewise, increased inner-city living options support the hospitality strip and there are a number of apartment developments underway within 600-metres of the subject properties.”